TED is a marvelous tool. Whether you feel its an ultra-elitist intellectual squeeze-box, or the ultimate online dehumidifier for all the muggy, claustrophobic opining that people just love to do [ahem. ed.], it brings things like this. Robert Legato, a true master of his field, on some of those special effects you never quite knew were there. Relating back to my earlier post on Pudovkin, Legato’s editorial mind is superb. He knows how to tell a story in a single, orchestrated moment. Watch and enjoy.

TED Blog

Most people get into visual effects for the explosions. But not Robert Legato, the visual effects supervisor of Avatar and The Aviator, who also won Oscars for his work on Titanic and Hugo.

“Everything I end up liking is outrageously simple,” Robert tells the TED Blog.

In this thrilling talk given at TEDGlobal 2012, Legato shares how he created the launch scene of Apollo 13 “in a parking lot with a tin can …  and fire extinguishers.”

“If you believed any of the stuff that I just showed you, what you were emoting to is something that’s a total falsehood,” Robert says in the talk. “I find that really kind of fascinating.”

In his talk, Robert also describes creating effects for Titanic, which made use of real footage of the ruins of the ill-fated ship along with effects filling in the gaps. He also shows how…

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