Summer 2017 Retrospective

The Molecule Reflects on the last 3 months of Community Events, TV Series, and Anniversaries

Summer 2017 was an eventful one for The Molecule. Even though it’s still unseasonably warm, fall is undeniably on its way: sweaters are coming out of storage, and beer taps have changed from Summer Ales to Octoberfests.

We’re feeling nostalgic and taking a look back at these busy past few months.

Chris Healer Speaks at SIGGRAPH

Our CEO Chris Healer had several opportunities to share his combined VR and VFX experience at SIGGRAPH this year.

Chris started off at the postPerspective booth for an interview with Randi Altman.

Later on Chris gave a talk at the Autodesk booth, describing the intersection of VR and VFX in his presentation, “Boldly into Virtual Reality: The Molecule’s Journey with VR.”

Most notably, Chris wrapped up his visit with his (now published) SIGGRAPH presentation titled “Visual Effects for VR.” In it he digs into VR image capturing techniques, and he highlights where VFX and VR practices overlap.

The Molecule also set up at the Autodesk booth during the festival. VR Producer Drew Wood interacted with conference-goers, showing them our latest VR creations including “Lincoln in the Bardo” for the New York Times and the Conan VR App for Comic Con 2016 on the Samsung Gear headset.

Summer 2017 TV SERIES

What would summer be without our favorite series?

In July Ballers returned for a third season on HBO, and VFX Supervisor Charlotta Forssman was with the production team every step of the way — from filming crowd plates for a Monster Jam scene in Las Vegas to shooting driving plates in Miami.

Also in July the sophomore season of Shooter returned to USA, and The Molecule’s LA studio helped build the suspense with digital explosions, muzzle flashes, and blood hits.

Queen Sugar continues to air on OWN, returning October 3 after their midseason break. Lauren F. Ellis, our LA studio supervisor and Senior VFX Producer, continues to oversee the VFX for the second season of the hit series from director Ava Duvernay.


Lauren F Ellis VES Event Magic on the Small Screen
Paul Rabwin (left) appeared on the panel with Lauren F. Ellis moderating. Photo by Brent Armstrong

In June The Molecule curated a panel at Disney Studios in Los Angeles called “VFX for Episodic: Magic on the Small Screen.” Our Senior VFX Producer and LA studio supervisor Lauren F. Ellis moderated.

“It was exciting to sit down and share experiences with the studios and larger Visual Effects Community,” says Andrew Bly.

Included on the panel were Paul Rabwin, Executive Director of Post Production at ABC Studios and Eli Dolleman, Senior VFX/Post Executive at Amazon Studios, among other VFX professionals. Chris Brancato, showrunner and co-creator of Netflix’s series “Narcos,” gave the keynote address.

You can check out a full gallery of the event via the Visual Effects Society, and you can watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the event on YouTube.

Also in June we hosted the members of the Post New York Alliance for their bimonthly Post Intelligence Gathering.

“Post Intelligence Gatherings are one of the highlights of being a member of the PNYA,” says Audra Coulombe, marketing manager for The Molecule.

“Members who attend are required to share what they know about staffing for scripted TV series, films, and docs that are posting in New York. They’ve been integral to strengthening our local Post Production community.”

Finally, The Molecule also sponsored the annual summer party for the Visual Effects Society. Hundreds of local members attended and networked with other members of the VFX community.

Crew News

Two of The Molecule’s staff members also celebrated a big milestone this year.

eclipse summer 2017 viewing party The Molecule
Viewing the solar eclipse from the roof of 104 West 29th Street in NYC

Animation Supervisor Chad Sikora and Motion Graphics Producer Chris Hayes have been working with us for 10 years. We surprised them with a shindig, tribute video, and cake pops with their likeness at Freddy’s Bar in Brooklyn.

Also this summer, staff members in New York were able to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse this August. Everyone climbed the stairs to the roof where IT Manager Alex Maceda showed off his homemade eclipse viewing device.

There is a lot more coming this fall that we can’t wait to share with you. Keep an eye out for new series including “Seven Seconds” (Netflix), “Happy!” (Syfy), “Instinct” (CBS), and “Rise” (NBC). We’ll also see some returning favorites including “Shades of Blue” (NBC) and “The Path” (Hulu).

The trailer for “Happy!” just released a few days ago. It’s been a crazy and fun ride working on this new series, and there will be plenty of behind-the-scenes info to come later on this fall. Stay tuned!