A highlight of the IFA+ Summit this year were the presentations by the special effects studio Weta Digital. Their latest action film creation, Gemini Man, stars Hollywood superstar Will Smith and is directed by the Oscar- winning director Ang Lee, renowned for his films, Hulk, Life of Pi and Brokeback Mountain.

The script calls for a convincing younger version of the star, Will Smith, and among the guests at the summit was Weta Digital’s Head of the Facial Motion Department, Stuart Adcock who has been in charge of the unit since 2018. He demonstrated the phenomenal technical possibilities available in digital facial animation, by showing how it was possible to create a completely digital, 23-year-old Smith – in 4K and with a high frame rate of 120 frames per second. Adcock also discussed what he believes will be the main developments in cinema in the near future.

Leading the special effects workshop was the New Zealand- based director, screenwriter, and producer Peter Jackson, best known for his Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
Gemini Man tells the story of a contract killer called Henry Brogan, played by Smith. Brogan suddenly finds himself at the centre of a chase by a mysterious young agent, who disturbingly, seems to be able to anticipate every one of Brogan’s steps in advance. It comes to a climax when Brogan is confronted by his younger self.

Photo: Stuart Adcock, Head of the Facial Motion Department, Weta Digital