I remember getting my first glimpses of the sequences in Hellboy that my team of matchmovers was about to work on. One that stood out in particular was the opening sequence, in which the villains were attempting to open the gates of hell with a special machine. The sequence had all the elements of a great action film: a driving rainstorm, lightning, explosions, people running everywhere, and a lot of fast-moving camera work. I realized immediately that this would be an incredible sequence, but also a very difficult one from the vantage point of a matchmover.

Experienced matchmovers look at effects shots with a different eye than other visual effects artists because their job is unique. Their main goal is to decipher the clues in ...

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