Thursday, February 7, 2013


One would think receiving an Oscar nomination would be the highlight of an outstanding special effects career, however in an interview with the Edinburgh Evening News, Philip Brennan tells how he was serenaded by...well....Hugh Jackman. Jealous ladies?  Later for that story.

Brennan who is nominated for an Academy Award as a member of the Visual Effects team for SWATH, told the EEN that being nominated felt "quite surreal."  

A native of Barnton UK, Brennan has been residing in Los Angeles for the past 20 years working on special effects in films such as Les Miserables, the Pirates of the Carribean trilogy, Moulin Rouge, Minority Report and the just wrapped Wolverine II.  Brennan was also honored at the Visual Effect Awards in 2004, according to EEN.

More after the jump

But his work with SWATH has bought him his biggest honor to date.  Brennan talks about his the special effects work on SWATH:

"We had pretty much everything except spaceships in this film." "One major challenge was the dwarves, who were being played by normal-height actors but had to look smaller than everyone else." 

"Due to our time limit and budget, coupled with the sheer number of scenes they were featured in, there were some who questioned whether it could be done. But using a combination of visual effects and camera tricks we managed to make it work." 

Brennan states how proud he is working with the effects team.  "I want to stress though, that while we four have been named in the nomination, the film was the work of literally hundreds of people who all deserve as much credit."


Having an Academy Award nomination is one perk being in the movie business, another is being serenaded by a "Hollywood A-lister" for your 45th birthday which is the one perk the reserved Brennan did not expect.  

Here is how Brennan tells the story to EEN:

"We are now on post-production of Wolverine II, but we did a lot of filming in Australia and Japan, which was an amazing experience. My birthday fell on one of the days when we were in Australia but I tried to keep it quiet." 

"But Hugh Jackman found out and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me in front of everyone. I realise some people would probably not complain about that, but I really don’t like to be the centre of attention."


The question that has gone unasked is, "Which perk does Brennan like better? Receiving an Oscar nomination? Or, having Hugh Jackman sing Happy Birthday?  Inquiring minds want to know. 


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