The Dream Facilitation of Lawrence Lin

Lawrence Lin

  The creative mind is the catalyst for the future. For as long as recorded history has existed, it’s evident that artists who envision the seemingly fantastic are the ones who inspire the more scientifically minded to steer their efforts in that direction. The airplane, cell phones, and many more things that we accept as mundane were once ideas that seemed impossible. Lawrence Lin is in this business; that is, the business of making the fantastic seem effortless or the very least, quite believable. Whether it’s redefining the music concert experience with the biggest music artists of the day or creating visual moments in the world’s largest (and highest grossing) superhero films, VFX production coordinator seems less appropriate than “dream facilitator” when describing what Lawrence does on a daily basis. He’s very pleased with the direction his career has taken him, as are the fans of his work who range from the heads of Marvel Studios to millions on the internet. 

  You’ve heard actors proclaim during their award speeches that the films you watch are the result of an army of talented artists rather than a singular performance; the same definition applies to the VFX work of these films. It takes someone like Lawrence who is not only knowledgeable and skilled about the Character Effects, Digital Assets, Shotmodeling, and other aspects but also is a master at coordinating the different departments and professionals who collaborate to manifest the awe inspiring moments which thrill us. Lawrence was thrilled to work on the Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and equally thrilled to witness the recognition the film received which included an Oscar win, five Oscar nominations, a BAFTA nomination, two nominations for a SAG award, a Golden Globe Award win, a BET Award, and two Grammy nominations. The film paid respect to actor Chadwick Boseman’s iconic personification of the original Black Panther with a riveting performance by Letitia Wright as his sister Shuri who takes up the mantle after her brother’s passing. Lawrence and his team enhanced the action with the creation of a “digidouble” who was used to create the more acrobatic fight scenes and death-defying moments of Shuri in the film. He informs, “One of my favorite scenes that myself and my team created in the film is when Shuri was on the ship, the ‘Royal Sea Leopard” and is battling the Talocanils. She then hops on a jet called the ‘Royal Talon Fighter’ and flies away. This shot had so many turnarounds in animation and we had to constantly update Shotmodel and CFX for downstream of each of these turnarounds. We were all really happy with how it came out. It’s almost impossible these days to pinpoint where the ‘practical’ moments end and the VFX begins, which is exactly what we want to achieve.” Mr. Lin is adamant that he takes the same cinematic intergrity to every production he works on, including his recent work on the Amazon Prime series Citadel which stars (BAFTA nominee and Golden Globes Award–winner) Richard Madden, (Filmfame Award–winner, People’s Choice Award–winner) Priyanka Chopra Jonas, (Oscar nominee, BAFTA nominee) Lesley Manville, and (Oscar nominee, BAFTA nominee, Primetime Emmy Award–winner, Golden Globe Award–winner, SAG Award–winner) Stanley Tucci. The first season of this series boasts as much action and visual spectacle as the latest Mission Impossible film. As one of the most popular original Amazon productions, Citadel recently was recognized with an HPA Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects (Episodes or Series Season) as well as two Bronze Clio Awards.

  Melding the worlds of music and visuals, Lawrence added his impressive skillset to a futuristic concert event for one of the world’s biggest Pop stars. While he’s been a part of a number of live concert productions, Lawrence points to his role as VFX coordinator on the Justin Beiber metaverse concert as one of the most thrilling. Delving deep into the metaverse, Justin Beiber traversed five different worlds throughout this concert. Each of these was populated with different surroundings such as skydomes, cityscapes, grassy fields, cars, dancers, and more. Interactive elements like lazers, fireworks, and others were interspersed as well, creating a fantastic spectacle unlike any of Justin’s previous live performances. Lawrence comments, “This was truly a fun project because it required us to question what was possible and had not been done before. One of the most popular elements were the interactive buttons that would trigger different effects around Justin’s CG avatar when viewers engaged their use. There were also very personal elements like a chat function which allowed people’s messages to appear on-screen next to Justin for him to see. Things like this simply aren’t possible in your typical live music performance and we were thrilled to be part of making this means of direct connection between fans and the artist.”

  Lawrence points to the films of companies like Disney, DreamWorks, or Bluesky as inspirational during his early years. The idea of pushing the technology forward to create the next form of visual artistry was thrilling to him. Just a few short years later, Lawrence himself is a part of this next iteration of what it means to create visuals that will fascinate and inspire those who follow his footsteps. He notes, “It feels really good to be creative. The work is always demanding but the outcome is more than worth it. If I can be a part of what prompts the next generation to surpass what myself and my peers are creating, nobody will be more delighted than me.”

Writer : Calvin Hooney