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B.C.-based special effects guru chases Academy Awards glory for 'X-Men'

Cameron Waldbauer is shown on the set of show Elysium, taken in Mexico City.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho-Stephanie Blomkamp
February 21, 2015 - 7:35 PM

TORONTO - If only Oscar-nominated special effects whiz Cameron Waldbauer could be in three places at once, like the super-powered characters in his eye-popping films.

The B.C.-based effects guru says he's currently juggling three big film projects, making it hard to find time to attend all the Oscar events he's been invited to as a nominee in the best visual effects category.

Waldbauer had to skip out on the annual Oscar luncheon — traditionally attended by nearly every nominee, from A-list celebs to the unknown technical wizards — because of work.

But reached in Los Angeles, he says he's all set to attend the big gala on Sunday.

"Oh yeah," Waldbauer says enthusiastically when asked if he'll be at the glitzy bash. "Hopefully I'm walking up on stage. We'll see."

Waldbauer, who was born in New Westminster, B.C. and lives in nearly Pitt Meadows, was in charge of the practical effects on "X-Men: Days of Future Past" — basically anything that blows up, flips over, or flies through the air, he says.

He and his colleagues Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora and Tim Crosbie are up against teams from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Interstellar."

Waldbauer says the most exciting scene to work on "was definitely the Quicksilver one."

In the film, the character Quicksilver zips through a Pentagon kitchen so quickly that everything else appears in extreme slow motion — upended pots, pans, cleavers and vegetables float in the air while bullets move so slowly that the mutant can reposition them and choose new targets.

"That was really fun to do because there's lots of practical stuff, lots of visual stuff and the combination of the two is a spectacular sequence," says Waldbauer, who studied mechanical design at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

These days, Waldbauer is busy as a consultant on the next "X-Men" film shooting in Montreal, and is also a consultant on the Leonardo DiCaprio film "The Revenant" in Calgary. In a few weeks, he'll be back in Vancouver working as the effects supervisor for the new "Star Trek" film.

He says there's been no shortage of work for his company, Objects Inc.

"Vancouver really has developed an entire crew base — right down to art department and set deck and props — and everybody there is really tuned into pulling off really high-level futuristic films," he says.

"It really is a destination for those kind of films."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press
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