Senior VFX Supervisor Evan Jacobs blends explosive action sequences with a complete Washington DC re-creation, all done in Louisiana.
The action-driven realism of Director Antoine Fuqua’s new film, Olympus Has Fallen, should come as no surprise, given his track record (Training Day, Brooklyn’s Finest) for gritty, urban-centered dramas. Looking for ways to jump start VFX production, Jacobs first focused on an aerial attack sequence.  “While still in pre-production we tried to identify any VFX work we could start right away, even before one frame of film had been shot,” recalls Jacobs.
Pixomondo (Hugo, Oblivion) handled previs for the sequence, sending a team to the production offices in Shreveport to handle the work.  This allowed for quick revisions and close editorial collaboration. Ultimately, Jacobs brought in Ghost VFX for the majority of the shots in the sequence, while several matte paintings were created by WorldwideFX.

As the story jumps forward eighteen months to July 5th, the White House and its DC surroundings become the focus of attention, front and center, for rest of the film. As the story unfolds, the crash of the C-130 proves to be just the beginning of the full terrorist assault.
With the White House secured by the villain Kang (Rick Yune – The Man with the Iron Fists, Die Another Day), the film moves inside.
The Black Hawk sequence ends with the last remaining helicopter crashing into the White House and creating a huge explosion, destroying a large portion of the White House. The practical realities of making this film, however, precluded cordoning off sections of city streets while rolling cameras.

Upon sequence approval, the C-130 attack shots were split between BaseFX, responsible for the majority of the aerial shots including the Monument collapse, and WWFX who worked on the scene’s “ground-based” shots.
Set around the snow covered presidential retreat, Camp David, located in Maryland, the Presidential motorcade is involved in a tragic accident while driving on an icy mountain road during a blizzard.
Production Designer Derek Hill and his team located an empty field in Shreveport and recreated the North Lawn of the White House including the lower portion of the main house, the circular drive, guard shack and fence.

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