Digital Domain Wins the HPA Outstanding Visual Effects Award for ‘Black Widow’


Los Angeles, California

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Colin McLaughlin

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Visual Effects Studio Honored for its Post-Production Work on Marvel Studios’ Blockbuster Film

LOS ANGELES – November 19, 2021 – Legendary visual effects studio Digital Domain today announces it has won the HPA Award for “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Theatrical Feature” for its work on Marvel Studios’ Black Widow. Awarded by the Hollywood Professional Association, the HPA Awards recognize exemplary and innovative work in the field of visual effects and post-production. This marks Digital Domain’s second HPA Award.

Digital Domain’s work on Black Widow set a new high-water mark for onscreen destruction. Overseen by David Hodgins (VFX Supervisor), Hanzhi Tang (DFX Supervisor), Ryan Duhaime (CG Supervisor), James Reid (CG Supervisor), Edmond Smith III (FX Supervisor) and Ryan Wilk (VFX Producer), Digital Domain’s artists created the flying fortress known as the “Red Room,” then systematically destroyed it, piece by piece.

The VFX team worked hand-in-hand with the filmmakers and performers to blend live-action footage of the heroes and villains escaping the destruction by free-falling away from the structure, while avoiding thousands of pieces of debris – ranging in size from full, flaming buildings to tiny metallic slivers. The scene was so data-intensive that it required Digital Domain to utilize GPU rendering to keep track of all the moving pieces.

“One of the things we love about our partnership with Marvel Studios is that they always give us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and create things that have never been seen before on screen,” said John Fragomeni, global president of Digital Domain. “To receive this award is extremely validating for our supervisors and artists, and goes to show that being bold pays off.”

The award was presented to Digital Domain at the HPA Awards ceremony, held on November 18 at the Hollywood Legion Theater in Los Angeles. HPA Awards are voted on by a panel of judges dedicated to advancements in post-production. Digital Domain’s previous HPA Award win came in 2020 for “Outstanding Visual Effects – Episodic (Under 13 Episodes) or Non-theatrical Feature” for the Lost in Space season two episode, “Shipwrecked.”

About Digital Domain
Digital Domain creates genre-defining experiences that entertain, inform and inspire. Throughout the last quarter of a century, the studio has established itself as a leader in the film visual effects industry, expanding to encompass episodics, commercials and game cinematics, while also embracing previsualization and virtual production. Digital Domain has also become a pioneer in digital humans and virtual reality, adding to a rich legacy that consists of hundreds of blockbuster feature films for every major studio, thousands of commercials, music videos, game cinematics and digital content by world-renowned directors and brands.

A creative force in visual effects and premium content, Digital Domain have brought artistry and technology to films including Titanic, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and blockbusters Ready Player One, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Staff artists have won more than 100 major awards, including Academy Awards, Clios, BAFTA awards and Cannes Lions.

Digital Domain has successfully become the first independent visual effects studio to enter Greater China. In 2018, Digital Domain acquired one of China’s VR hardware equipment pioneers and leaders - VR Technology Holdings Ltd, Shenzhen (“3Glasses”).

Digital Domain has locations in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Montreal, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Taipei and Hyderabad. Digital Domain Holdings Limited is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (stock code: 547).

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