Rob Legato creates surprising and creative visual illusions for movies.

Why you should listen

Did we really see what we thought we saw? Rob Legato creates visual illusions for movies -- thinking deeply both about vfx's expanding tech power and the truly new creative processes that can result. Legato won his first Oscar in 1998 for his work on James Cameron's Titanic, after several years in television supervising effects on two Star Trek series. His 2012 Oscar win for Hugo, the 3D film about a boy who lives alone in a Paris train station, underscores his fascinating partnership with Martin Scorsese -- doing digital effects on documentaries and new classics like The Departed.

He's worked with the big effects houses like Sony Imageworks and Digital Domain, but is now fascinated with the nimble new workflows made possible with digital tools. He designed the "virtual cinematography pipeline" that let James Cameron shoot Avatar like a feature film, not a software project. We know that fx can create new worlds -- but how can these tools unlock new creativity?

What others say

“Legato's passion these days is finding ways to make motion capture technology serve storytelling while giving directors the flexibility to create genuine moments with their actors.” — Anne Thompson, Variety

Rob Legato’s TED talk

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February 24, 2013

Think quick: what was the best film of 2012? Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook or Zero Dark Thirty? This question will be decided tonight at the 85th annual Academy Awards. As you prepare your Oscars ballot and debate whether Seth MacFarlane will […]

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