With visual magic, a Slovak killed Harry Potter's biggest enemy

Vladimír Valovič, a Slovak visual effects creator, has worked on many Hollywood films.

Visual effects creator Vladimír Valovič.Visual effects creator Vladimír Valovič. (Source: Archive of Vladimír Valovič)

At first, Slovak visual effects (VFX) creator Vladimír Valovič expected to work on commercials and trailers. But then he took matters into his own hands, attended a VFX school in London and later started working on big Hollywood productions, including several Marvel movies.

In an interview with the Slovak Spectator, he talks about his projects, how he got involved in the film industry, and the general nature of his work.

What films have you worked on?

There are many. In the beginning there were B films like Season of the Witch with Nicolas Cage. But over time came films like the fourth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean, Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg, Guardian of the Galaxy 1 and 2, on which I did quite a lot of work. Another big film for me was Justice League, The Finest Hours, and Terminator: Dark Fate.

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Which one do you have particularly fond memories of?

With each film, I remember certain things, be it a whole group of people, individual person, a period of life, and what was associated with the project. Lincoln was very interesting, although, paradoxically, the film had few visual effects.

Related article Slovak film set maker who works for Hollywood productions Read more 

Lincoln is a historical film. How did working on the effects look like?

Often it's the invisible things, such as retouching modern elements, say car tracks, power lines, cities, cables. In Lincoln, it was mainly the Capitol Dome. At that time, it was not possible to film near the Capitol, so it was filmed near a building that looked similar from the front, while the rest - the wings, pillars - were added. I spent a lot of time on it, but it was a pleasant job. The first Guardians was just as enjoyable, but the second one was less so.

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What was the difference?

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