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The A-List — Independence Day: Resurgence director Roland Emmerich
By Iain Blair

After two decades of rumors
and speculation, German director /writer/producer
Roland Emmerich is finally
back with Independence Day: Resurgence. This is the long-awaited sequel to his seminal 1996 alien invasion epic Independence Day, one of the most financially successful movies in the history of Hollywood — it ended up making over $817 million worldwide and turning Will
Smith into a superstar.

Following that smash, Emmerich went on to make other apocalyptic mega-productions, including Godzilla (the 1998 version), The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 BC and 2012, all of which were huge box office hits despite little love from the critics. And while Emmerich has also made smaller movies, such as Anonymous, The Patriot and Stonewall, which didn’t involve aliens, the destruction of cities, rising sea levels or vast armies of VFX artists, his latest blockbuster will only further cement his legacy as an ambitious filmmaker who doesn’t just love to blow shit up but who has always seen the big picture. The Fox release opens June 24.

I recently spoke with Emmerich about making the film, which features many visual effects shots, and the post process.

It’s been two decades since Independence Day became a global blockbuster. Why did it take so long to do a sequel?
I made the first one as a stand-alone film, and for 10 years I felt that way. Plus, ideas that were pitched for a sequel didn’t work for me. Then, about six, seven years ago, I was shooting for the first time on digital cameras for the film 2012. We did all of the 1,500 VFX shots in the computer, and it suddenly hit me that the technology had changed so much that maybe it was time to try a sequel.

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Behind the Title: Leviathan
ECD Jason White

Jason White, ECD of Chicago's Leviathan, knew in middle school that he would make his living creating art. It was then he started imagining opening his own studio.

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Digging Deeper: Legion VFX
artist H Hammond

H Hammond, a VFX artist with VFX Legion, comes from interesting parents. They really liked the idea of their son having the initials HHH, but they could only think of a middle name that worked… and so H Haden Hammond was born.

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