It was the fall of 1962: Television viewers laughed at the antics
of The Beverly Hillbillies, kids did "The Loco-Motion," the Yankees
squared off against the Giants in a fall-classic showdown. And,
with considerably more at stake, the United States and the Soviet
Union went to the brink of war over missiles in Cuba.
|Bill LaBarge helped make computer-generated aircraft
fly for Thirteen Days.
It all happened 15 years before Bill La Barge was born. But the
Cuban Missile Crisis became a focal point for the 23-year-old
La Barge who, for eight months last year, worked on animation
and 3-D visual effects for the movie Thirteen Days, which chronicles
the tense days when the world's two superpowers faced off to determine
who would blink first.
La Barge, a 2001 computer science graduate, created scenes of
computer-generated aircraft, such as F-8 and F-101 fighter jets
and a U2 spy plane, and computer-generated smoke and afterburners
for surface-to-air missiles and jets depicted in the movie. The
opportunity resulted from co-op and full-time technical-director
positions La Barge held with Cinesite Visual Effects, owned by
Eastman Kodak Co., in Hollywood. The Lewisburg, Pa., native receives
on-screen credit at the end of the movie.
"It's very exciting for me to see my work on the big screen and
know that millions of people have seen my work," La Barge says.
"It makes me feel even better when people tell me they didn't
see any visual effects in the movie. That's exactly our goal:
To make it look so real no one could tell otherwise."
While at Cinesite for parts of 1999 and 2000, La Barge also wrote
software used in the production of the movies, Red Planet and
X-Men. "It was a great experience," La Barge says.
So good, in fact, that La Barge returned to Los Angeles after
finishing classes to accept a job offer with the company. He'll
be a 3D technical director at Cinesite.