Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they've never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. The film stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, as well as Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato, and is directed by Michael Hoffman.

Prime Focus World delivered 121 VFX shots, including one long 2,500 frame opening shot. The PFW team was led by VFX Supervisor Nigel Denton-Howes and VFX Producer Misato Shinohara out of Vancouver. The team worked closely with VFX Supervisor Raymond Gieringer and VFX Producer Sean Nowlan on the film to create the effects needed for the show.

The most challenging work was the opening of the film which involves the explosion of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.  Shot on a real oil rig in Louisiana, the filmmakers used practical effects of rain and fire that the Prime Focus team then turned into raining slurry and a column of fire and smoke.

“It was important on this show to get the water, flames, smoke, everything else as photo-realistic as possible, since we were blending it into live action practical plates they shot on-set,” said VFX Supervisor Nigel Denton-Howes.

In addition to the explosion, the team created a 2,500 frame shot for the opening titles of the camera soaring over the waters of the gulf.  The CG water effects were created as tools in Houdini that could then be added or adjusted according to the edits of the filmmakers.

“It was great having a positive, collaborative relationship with the filmmakers,” reflected Nigel. “We had to overcome some complicated shots, so having the confidence of the Director, Raymond and Sean was hugely helpful.”

The Best of Me releases in U.S. theaters October 17, 2014.

RELEASE: Oct 17, 2014

Director: Michael Hoffman
Studios / Distributors: Relativity Media