Sarofsky Enters the Marvel Universe, Crafts Main Titles For CAPTAIN AMERICA
March 14, 2014 by Andrew Schneider
In a coup for the Chicago-based design & production studio, Sarofsky crafted the main titles for the soon-to-be-released CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER.
Erin Sarofsky, creative director, credits the film’s directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, with introducing her company to the Marvel team.
“I have a long-standing relationship with the Russo brothers,” Sarofsky says. “We’ve been working together since 2009 when we hit it off on their NBC series, Community.”
Sarofsky has worked with the brothers on many of their projects over the years including producing the main titles for HAPPY ENDINGS and ANIMAL PRACTICE, in addition to COMMUNITY.
“Right after we wrapped Animal Practice, it was announced that the Russos had signed on to direct the Captain America sequel,” she says. “I was so happy for them.”
Shortly after, the Russos introduced Sarofsky to Marvel, and even though they were met with a little resistance because Sarofsky wasn't already one of Marvel and Disney’s vetted vendors, they ultimately prevailed in convincing them to allow Sarofsky to pitch on this project.
When the time came, the Sarofsky team flew out to LA to see the film. Then, they had only a week to put together their treatments. For one of the directions, Erin Sarofsky called in friend and well-known comic book artist David Mack to collaborate with. Interestingly, it was their approach that was chosen as the direction for the sequence.
“It was a fantastic pitch,” Sarofsky recalled. “It was really great to be able to share our ideas with some of the most talented creatives out there (Joe and Anthony Russo, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Kevin Feige)… And have them clearly excited about the work.”
“Even though I knew there was excitement for our work, I also knew we were pitching against four other very talented companies and that we were the dark horse because of our non-existent history with Marvel.”
However, by the time Erin and her team landed back in Chicago, Marvel had awarded them the job.
“To say we were surprised is an understatement.”
But they soon found out that Disney has special security requirements for all vendors that work on projects over $200 million dollars. Sarofsky needed to make some infrastructure changes. Everything from on site security upgrades, like cameras and key fobbing the finishing suite and server room, to adding a second enterprise class server with segregated workstations. While they were at it, they also added an Autodesk Smoke system so they could monitor their 2K stereoscopic files in real time.
“We are excited that now we have the capabilities to work on more high profile jobs that require extra security measure," Sarofsky says. "And the timing of all this couldn’t have been more perfect, as we had just moved into our new space.”
You can see the work when the film opens on April 4th everywhere… Sarofsky will share the sequence on their website when the film is released on Blu-ray.
The project was led creatively by Erin, but she credits the whole team with the success of the production. She specifically singled out the efforts her CG head Andy Zazzera, Producer Erik Crary and VFX Directors Matt Crnich and John Filipkowski.
When asked about her footprint in Chicago, she responded, “We are committed to city and we are excited to be seen as a creative powerhouse here in Chicago. But we fully realize that companies like Marvel are only interested in producing highly creative work. Because of that we are striving to be a creative powerhouse on a global level.”
Full credits for the project:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Erin Sarofsky, Lead Main Title Designer
Erik Crary, Producer
Andre Zazzera, CG Supervisor
Matthew Crnich / John Filipkowski, Co-Visual Effects Supervisors
David Mack, Illustrator / Concept Artist
Josh Bodnar / Steven Piet, Co-Editors
Rachel Steele, Executive Producer
Patrick Coleman, CG Artist
Duarte Elvas, CG Artist
Tinizsi Gadegbeku, CG Artist
Nick Hopkins, CG Artist
Alex Kline, CG Artist
Xiu Sheng Liang, CG Artist
Cameron Spencer, CG Artist
Tnaya Witmer, CG Artist
Michael Burke, Associate Producer
Jenine Early, Digital Artist
Mike Moe, Technology Consultant
Rob Engle, Stereo Consultant
Halley Winer, Production Manager
Katie Bates, Production Coordinator
Brent Austin, Production Assistant