Wales

Oscars 2020: Welshman's glory bid for work on The Irishman

Robert De Niro (Frank Sheeran), with Joe Pesci (Russell Bufalino) Image copyright Netflix
Image caption A younger-looking Robert De Niro (L), with Joe Pesci in a scene from The Irishman

A new technique to "de-age" movie actors has given a Welsh visual effects expert a chance at Oscars glory.

Ed Bruce, a former pupil at Denbigh Grammar School, Denbighshire, is part of the team that worked on The Irishman.

The film has been nominated for 10 Oscars, one of them for visual effects making Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci appear 40 years younger.

It tells the story of a hitman reflecting on his life of crime.

The visual effects have also earned a Bafta nomination.

Mr Bruce said he was "thrilled" with the nominations as head of SSVFX, the Dublin-based visual effects company which worked alongside the industry giant Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) on the film.

The Oscar winners will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 10 February.

Image copyright Netflix
Image caption Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in a scene from The Irishman

"To work on a Martin Scorsese film is always a special and wonderful opportunity and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our facilities' craft," he said.

SSVFX used their own 2D computer technology to complement a 3D system developed by ILM, digitally de-aging characters in about 300 shots.

Mr Bruce added: "After reading the script we knew this was going to be a very special film, and the visual effects component was so integral to the storytelling and key to the film's success."

He gained a degree in product design and moved to Ireland in 2000 to become a visual effects supervisor in 2007.

SSVFX has won awards in recent years for TV series including Game of Thrones and Ripper Street.

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