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Modern Marvels takes on the Panama Canal expansion project

By Jennifer Walden

Have you noticed just how casually people throw around the word "epic" these days? For example, "That burrito I just ate was epic!" Or, "That concert I went to last night was epic." For the record, those things are not epic. What truly is epic? The new Panama Canal expansion project that has been documented via a Modern Marvels special on the History Channel.

The episode, which premieres on April 11, focuses on a 50-mile-long construction site, populated with thousands of workers and segmented into roughly 150 micro job sites. They even had to build an on-site concrete plant to meet the concrete demand for 10-story high, mile-long lock structures able to withstand a 7.1 earthquake. Forget the burrito, new canal locks that will move super post-Panamax cargo ships from one ocean to another… now that's epic.

Capturing the scale of this monumental $5.5 billion expansion project required directors-producers Dylan Robertson and Bill Ferehawk of Radiant Features to take a fresh approach to filmmaking. In order to accurately communicate the scale of the structures, they needed to establish a reference point: people. "If you don't have a frame of reference in terms of size then you have no bearing," says Robertson. "One of our fun challenges was how to turn that corner, where you're sitting right off of someone's shoulder and then the camera pans over and suddenly you're 10 stories down."

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Banshee VFX Part 2: Technicolor Flame artist Paul Hill
By Randi Altman

A couple of weeks ago we checked in with Banshee associate producer Gwyn Shovelski, who talked about the show’s visual effects workflow. That workflow includes Technicolor Flame artist Paul Hill, who has intimate knowledge of what the Banshee team wants — he worked with most of them during the run of HBO’s True Blood.

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Quick Chat: Encore Colorist Paul Westerbeck Talks Gotham

Fox’s Gotham gives viewers a look at the early days of some of your favorite, and not-so-favorite, Batman characters, mostly focusing on a young detective named Jim Gordon… way before he became the Commissioner Gordon most of us are familiar with.

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Behind the Title: Method VFX supervisor Alvin Cruz

Blog: My three goals for NAB 
By Adrian Winter

Scratch 8.3 and Scratch 
Lab now in one toolset

Excerpt: How To Direct a Microbudget Film
By William Dickerson

Adobe Creative Cloud updated: color grading 
inside of Premiere, more

AlterMedia beefs up 
Studio Suite Xi

• NetApp
• Devil & Demon

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