Jeff Okun has completed the visual effects work on the Warner Brothers award winning film, ‘Blood Diamond’. A special feature on his experiences in Africa during the production, is posted HERE.
Working closely with Edward Zwick, the films Director, Co-Writer and Producer, Jeff was charged with creating invisible visual effects for the film. The mission statement for this project was, If the audience sees a visual effect then we have ruined the film.
The visual effects for this feature film range from virtual set extensions and extensive matte paintings to full 3D work and computer generated weapons and events of warfare to enhance the reality of the action sequences and add spectacular action beats that propel the story forward.
Okun is known for creating organic and invisible effects, as well as spectacular tent-pole visual effects that blend seamlessly into the storytelling aspect of the project. I feel that my job is not to showcase what can be done with the technology but to serve the story using visual effects where and when needed.
Okun has also worked on wide-ranging effects as seen in such films as the award winning Tom Cruise film, THE LAST SAMURAI, the sci-fi hits STARGATE, SPHERE, RED PLANET, DEEP BLUE SEA, LOLITA, CUTTHROAT ISLAND, DEATH TO SMOOCHY, THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS, DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER, THE LAST STARFIGHTER and David Lynchs TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME.
His credits also include music videos from such varied artists as Sting, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janet Jackson, Wayne Newton, Bryan Adams, Amy Grant, Dolly Parton, Prince, Michael Jackson, the Neville Brothers and Rod Stewart, in which he created many amazing in camera and special optical effects.
Jeff also created visual effects tracking and bidding software that is in wide use within the industry, as well as creating the revolutionary visual effects technique dubbed the “PeriWinkle Effect” and the “Pencil Effect”, that have been used in many projects to help achieve a more realistic sense of danger and accurate budgets.
Jeff also serves as the Chair of the Visual Effects Society and the Chair of the VES Awards Committee, having spear-headed the creation of the VES Annual Awards. He is a respected member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (sitting on the steering committee), the Academy of Television Arts and Science, and BAFTA as well as a member of the board of directors for the Gnomon School of Visual Arts.
If you have any question for Jeff Okun, please feel free to post them here. Although Jeff is traveling right now, he is enthusiastically hoping to appear very shortly to write the replies. Please make him welcome to CGTalk ‘Meet the Artist’, Jeff Okun.