MastersFX Launches New Digital Division

December 22, 2009 by  

true_blood_coupleMastersFX, an organization founded in 1987 by Emmy Award winner Todd Masters, is renown in Hollywood for its creation of special and visual effects, has launched a Digital Division. The company has designed, created and produced prosthetics, animatronics, and character effects for many hundreds of motion pictures, television programs (including True Blood), and commercials.

Todd Masters, Founder of MastersFX, has announced that Andreé Bustanoby, formerly an FX artist with Stan Winston Studio and Digital Domain, will head up the new division as its Visual Effects Supervisor.

The new Digital Division will enable the company to integrate practical character effects with digital FX, consequently allowing for tailored effects for each shot design with regard to the specificities of the particular project budget, time constraints and production preferences.

Regarding the establishment of the new Digital Division, Masters said,

“Our new digital group allows our company to integrate the best of both worlds within special and visual effects. There will always be room for practical, on-set effects that include make-ups, prosthetics, puppets and other character gags. By enhancing these moments with our digital expertise, our company’s contributions to film, TV, commercials and multi-media projects lets us plan every FX design in advance, pre-visualization, so we can best determine the most dramatic—and efficient—element to deliver. We can ‘throw all the tools’ onto the table, and can then decide which to ultimately deliver to the director.”

André Bustanoby, the new Digital Division’s Visual Effects Supervisor, is a veteran of Visual Effects and comes with a solid portfolio of previous work. Prior to joining MastersFX, he worked at Brain Zoo Studios, where he supervised Visual Effects on such videogame projects as Lost Planet and Mercs2. Between 1995 and 2001, Bustanoby was at Digital Domain, where he contributed “performance capture” work to the projects The Island of Dr. Moreau, Michael Jackson’s Ghosts and the hit film, Titanic. After making his Visual Effects Supervisor feature debut on the feature film Lake Placid, he then moved over to Digital Domain’s commercial division. There, he worked on many projects, winning a 2001 Silver CLIO Award for client Iomega, in the category “Best Animation.” From 2001-05, Bustanboy helped build a new digital division at Stan Winston Studio, where he contributed digital FX work to feature films such as, for example, Terminator 3, The Cat in the Hat, The Fantastic Four, among others.

Earlier in his career, Bustanoby worked for Boss Film Studios as a Design Engineer. He has been involved with several movie projects. These include, for example, Alien 3, Batman Returns, Cliffhanger, Species and Multiplicity. His first job in the special effects industry was for MastersFX in l990, when he worked as an Animatronics Engineer. In that role, he was involved with the films The Howling: 6 and Tales from the Crypt.

The new Digital Division will undoubtedly consolidate and solidify MastersFX’s already highly regarded reputation in the industry. During this past year, MastersFX has provided prosthetic FX for feature films such as, for example, Marley and Me, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and for the television series Sanctuary, Dexter, Eureka, and Stargate Atlantis. Previously, the company has contributed to Star Trek: First Contact, Tales from the Crypt, Nightmare on Elm Street 5, The Horse Whisperer, Snakes on a Plane, Six Feet Under, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, among others.

In acknowledgment of its expertise, MastersFX won an Emmy Award in 2003 for its contributions to HBO’s Six Feet Under. The company is also the winner of a 2006 “Saturn” Award for its work on the feature film Slither. In addition, MastersFx has just won a 2009 “Gemini” Award for its contributions to the cable TV series Stargate: Atlantis. The company contributes FX to a number of high profile television and feature film projects. It is currently producing FX for Season 3 of HBO’s True Blood. MastersFX has also created FX for Twilight: New Moon, The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Flash Forward, Eureka, Sanctuary, Big Love, Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy, among others.

Now that Season 3 of True Blood has commenced shooting, I am sure I’m speaking for all True Blood fans when I say that we are all beside ourselves with excitement about the digital effects that will be deployed in the next season’s portrayal and characterization of vampires and werewolves.


Picture credit: HBO Inc.