Behind the Scenes with Fixtures Foreman Mike Visencio
The Avengers unite for their most challenging task yet: taking on the all powerful Thanos and his army, and stopping them from putting an end to the universe as we know it. While this may seem like an unearthly impossible mission, it was nothing compared to the massive undertaking Cinematographer Trent Opaloch, Gaffer Jeff Murrell, Fixtures Foreman Mike Visencio, and the rest of the camera/lighting crew had illuminating some of the largest scale action scenes ever filmed for the big screen. Avengers: Infinity Waris the third Avengers installment and the biggest feature yet to come out of the Marvel universe (scope and budget wise.) The film is expected to make a major dent into the box office and already broke the all time pre-sales record within the first six hours tickets became available. With the hype leading up to the release date this Friday, I was able to catch up with Fixtures Foreman Mike Visencio and discuss some of the ways he lit the backdrop of this epic action packed battle royale.
Opaloch, Murrell, and Visencio all previously worked on a number of Marvel features (most notably together on Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) The shared Marvel experience really helped keep the entire team on the same page throughout principle photography. “With Opaloch and Murrell the focus is all about control, both of light levels, color, and individual control so they can really shape the look and mood of the set,” says Visencio. He adds, “The vibe of the film was a bit darker and grim compared to other Marvel features, so the LED accents really helped set the tone throughout.”
A considerable amountof LiteRibbon in various lengths, widths, and color temperatures were utilized in this third Avengers installment. “For sets that were to take place on earth we mainly stuck to VHO Pro 120 Hybrid Pro LiteRibbon, and for sets that were to take place in space or different planets we used Chroma RGBA and Cine 6 RGBATD LiteRibbon so the colors could be tweaked to capture an ‘Alien-esque celestial look,’” says Visencio. He adds, “We relied heavily on DMX controllers for dimming, using LiteGear 4×4 V3 controllers, LiteDimmer Wireless 4 channel dimmers, and Cat 5 opti’s to distribute data. We used LiteDimmer Studio 5×8 controllers for larger LED load installations and when low-range smooth dimming was required.”
One of Visencio’s favorite set-ups was the large Avengers “A” sign which appears throughout the film at the Avenger’s headquarters, and it has also been traveling with the crew in the last couple weeks for the Avengers: Infinity Warpromotional tour. Multiple rolls of VHO Pro 120 X1 Tungsten Ribbon and LiteDimmer Studio 5×8 controllers were used for this installation. You can actually catch a glimpse of this sign if you check on some of the cast and crew member’s Instagram accounts, as they have been posting many photos of the tour.
Avengers: Infinity Warhas already pre-sold more tickets than the last seven Marvel films combined ahead of it’s April 27th release. Make sure to cop yours for the weekend—I just got mine for opening night! I’d like to give a special shout out to Mike Visencio, Jeff Murrell and Trent Opaloch who have been a constant force in the Marvel universe over the past several years. You guys rock, and your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed!