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ARIEL VELASCO SHAW


Academy Award-nominated and Manila-born visual effects supervisor Ariel Velasco Shaw is back with the fifth installment of the blockbuster horror-thriller “Final Destination” that will hit theaters nationwide on Aug. 12 through Warner Bros. Pictures.

This will be Shaw’s first foray in 3D filmmaking, where he oversaw the movie’s many elaborate special effects, including those used for the terrifying collapse of a suspension bridge during which a group of co-workers was saved by one man’s premonition.

But this group of unsuspecting souls was never supposed to survive and, in a terrifying race against time, they frantically try to find a way to escape death.

With over two dozen films to his credit, including such blockbusters as “Batman Forever,” “300,” “Lethal Weapon 4,” “Armageddon,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and the first and third “Final Destination” films, this Hollywood vet is highly regarded as a visual effects pioneer whose early research in digital imaging established the foundation for today’s revolutionary digital imaging production process.

The Filipino Reporter had a chance to chat with Shaw, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., after moving to the U.S. at age four.

Shaw, who bagged an Oscar nod for Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and an Emmy Award nom for Tom Hanks’ HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon,” reveals he has been eyeing directing lately.

He says one of his dreams is to someday shoot a film in the Philippines about Filipino myths or supernatural events in places like Corregidor, or Siquijor, which is associated with mystic traditions.

He reveals he got inspired when he saw the Chito Rono horror classic “Feng Shui” that starred Kris Aquino.

“It’s a pretty good horror film,” he says, “based on a culture totally different from where I was raised.”

“The Filipino culture is a very interesting culture to try to work on and bring to the front,” he added.

Shaw says he’s also looking into ways to share his FX knowledge and expertise to Filipino filmmakers, who are lagging behind when it comes to visual or special effects.

But Shaw is first to admit that those plans might have to wait given his status as a sought-after visual effects supervisor in the U.S.

“That will really be a challenge,” he said.

“But I have a lot of contacts in the Philippines and I have conversations with people there about bringing work there and trying to get them going. But until I actually get out there and see what they’ve done and see how I can move them into the next level, it will be difficult.”

“But then I believe it’s all a matter of priorities,” he added.

“It’s a priority of mine to see what we can do about growing the visual effects industry over there. I can utilize good filmmakers and some of my friends out there like Raymond Red, or I could get some of the L.A.-based Filipino filmmakers out there to come along."

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