"Final Destination 5" Features Effects by Filipino-American FX Master

So this Friday, the latest installment of the Final Destination series arrives in the theaters.  For me, Final Destination was the first horror film I took seriously, especially since it was recommended to me by an ex-girlfriend in high school.  What came as a pleasant surprise for me was receiving this press release that Final Destination 5 features visual effects work by Academy Award-nominated Asian-American FX master Ariel Velasco Shaw.

As the Visual Effects Supervisor of “Final Destination 5,” Shaw oversaw the film’s many elaborate special effects, including those used for the terrifying collapse of a suspension bridge. AHollywoodveteran with over 25 films to his credit –including such blockbusters as “300,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and the first and third “Final Destination” films — Shaw 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. “Final Destination 5” marks Shaw’s return to the “Final Destination” franchise as well as his first foray into 3D filmmaking. The film opens nationwide in 3D and 2D on August 12, 2011 through Warner Bros. Pictures.  (Salamat, Telly Wong)

About Ariel Velasco Shaw

Shaw has been at the forefront of the visual effects community for over 25 years. Shaw’s career began in 1984 when he joined the prestigious New York Institute of Technology, one of the premier computer graphics facilities in the world. His early research in digital imaging established the foundation for today’s revolutionary digital imaging production process.

In 1989, Shaw was asked to work for Walt Disney Feature Animation for the purpose of designing a digital-imaging department, which resulted in “The Rescuers Down Under,” the first full-length animated film to be digitally post-produced. This breakthrough technology launched the highly regarded digital ink and paint system known as CAPS, Computer Animation Production System. During his tenure as the Digital Imaging Supervisor, Shaw worked on such Disney classic feature films as “Beauty and The Beast,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.” His Disney career culminated in an Academy Award® nomination in Visual Effects for his break-through work on “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

In 1994, Shaw left Disney and lent his expertise to Boss Film Studios, where he assisted in the company’s transition to a fully functioning digital effects studio. While there, Shaw supervised the feature films “True Lies,” “The Scout” and “Drop Zone.” After a successful stint at Boss Film Studios, Shaw then segued over to Warner Digital Studios, where he worked on “Batman Forever,” “My Fellow Americans,” “Vegas Vacation” and “Contact.” Later, at Pacific Title/Mirage, Shaw handled the visual effects for “Lethal Weapon 4,” “Armageddon” and “Soldier,” and received an Emmy Award nomination for Tom Hanks’ HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon.”

Since leaving Pacific Title/Mirage, Shaw has continued to work as an independent, with credits that include “300,” “Final Destination” and “Final Destination 3,” “Bones,” “Freddy vs. Jason,” “Scary Movie 2,” “Dragonball: Evolution,” “Jonah Hex” and HBO’s “Carnivàle,” for which he received a Visual Effects Society Award nomination.

Additional Asian American talent involved with “Final Destination 5”

In addition to Ariel Velasco Shaw, “Final Destination 5” features several other notable Asian Americans working behind the scenes, including:

  • Executive Producer Walter Hamada (“A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th”)
  • Art Director Sandi Tanaka (“X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer”)
  • Stuntwoman Kimberly Chiang (“Eclipse,” “New Moon”)


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