Episode 44: We speak with Gino Acevedo, Gino has gone from the role of Prosthetic supervisor on various projects to now being a VFX creative art director at WETA digital in Wellington New Zealand. We chat about Gino’s journey from sculpting costume masks in Arizona, working on exciting films in LA to then moving to NZ to help create Middle Earth for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.
In 1998, Makeup and Creature Effects Art Director Gino Acevedo was asked by Richard Taylor to join Weta Workshop to supervise the special makeup effects and color designs of the creatures for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Prior to this, Gino had been working in the Los Angeles film industry for more than 10 years.
During the filming of The Two Towers, Gino was approached by Weta Digital’s Visual Effects Supervisor, Joe Letteri, who was intrigued by the way Gino had made the skin colouration of a physical silicone puppet of the dead Boromir so believable. Joe then asked if Gino would be interested in texture painting on Gollum.
Although he saw himself as computer illiterate, Gino grasped the new digital challenges, becoming the Art Director for the digital creatures and the liaison between Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. Thus, allowing for a continuous design vision from initial illustrative designs through to the final digital effects shots shown onscreen.
Gino’s work at Weta Digital includes HOD of the textures department and creative art director. On King Kong and The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, Gino along with Richard Taylor supervised the sculpting of the maquettes for digital scanning, and making the physical silicone puppets used for environment and actor interaction. These were later replaced with the digital creature that is seen onscreen.
As Creature Art Director on Avatar, Gino oversaw 52 Weta Digital texture artists. They used innovative techniques of life casting, to achieve details such as minute skin pores which were cast in silicone and scanned. They were then applied to the digital models breathing life and colour into the world of Pandora.
After exploring the amazing world Of Pandora, Gino traveled back into Middle Earth to work on the Hobbit series supervising the textures department as well as being on set to apply makeup effects to Thorin and some of the Orcs.