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POP Film and POP Animation

POP Film and POP Animation, formerly known as Pacific Ocean Post Digital Film Group or simply Pacific Digital Post, and ultimately as POP Sound, was initially a post production company which provided digital visual effects (digital VFX, aka CGI) for various Star Trek productions.

POP was founded in 1994 as a subsidiary division of Four Media Company (and was therefore a sister company of Digital Magic [1]), and became associated with Star Trek the following year when they provided the CGI for the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Learning Curve". They then provided video optical effects shots for the Voyager episode "Projections", "Elogium", and "The 37's" and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Facets" before becoming Deep Space Nine's primary CGI producer – taking over that position from VisionArt Design & Animation – until the end of the show's fifth season, after which POP themselves were replaced by Digital Muse, which had started to work on the show the previous season. The latter was somewhat ironical, as POP had to fill the position left vacant by Muse's prior incarnation Amblin Imaging, when it went defunct during the production of Voyager's first season, before it became reborn as Digital Muse. On Voyager, POP was after its third season entirely replaced by Foundation Imaging, which had started to work on the show around the same time POP did.

Shedding POP incidentally, was a conscious decision by the franchise, as it was aiming at that time to streamline and optimize CGI production for their television productions. By the time the decision was made the volatility of the then still new CGI market, with vendors going in and out of business on a regular basis – such as Amblin, and as would sister company Digital Magic for that matter – , had been settled enough for the franchise to become sufficiently confident to rely on two companies only; Foundation for Voyager and Muse for Deep Space Nine. The decision was reinforced by the fact that both these companies used the exact same computer platforms and software, greatly enhancing efficiency as it meant that they could support each other for particular tasking episodes of either series, amply proven in the later seasons of both which became increasingly CGI heavy, the Dominion War space battles in Deep Space Nine in particular. (See also: main article)

Credited as Pacific Ocean Post Digital Film Group though, the company did provide support by creating additional digital effects for Star Trek: First Contact, under the supervision of Scott Rader and Adam Howard and produced by Andrea D'Amico. Likewise, as POP Film and POP Animation, they also produced additional VFX for Star Trek: Insurrection. David Sosalla was POP's Visual Effects Supervisor on Insurrection; Melissa Brockman was the company's Visual Effects Producer.

According to the Internet Movie Database, POP also did effects work on Star Trek: Enterprise. This has yet to be confirmed.

POP has worked on many other projects, including the films Tank Girl (starring Lori Petty, Malcolm McDowell, Jeff Kober, Reg E. Cathey, Ann Cusack, and Iggy Pop), Batman Forever (featuring Rene Auberjonois and John Glover), Titanic (featuring David Warner), Flubber (featuring Clancy Brown and Wil Wheaton), The X-Files (featuring John Neville and Terry O'Quinn), Payback (starring Gregg Henry and John Glover), Fight Club (featuring Zach Grenier and David Andrews), and X-Men (starring Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, and Bruce Davison and directed by Bryan Singer). In addition, besides Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection, POP has provided effects for two other films featuring Brent Spiner: the 1996 science fiction blockbuster Independence Day and the 1997 romantic comedy Out to Sea.

POP ceased its digital visual effects and animation work in the early 2000s. They subsequently operated as POP Sound, located on 625 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica, CA, providing sound mixing and editing services for the film, television, and music industry. As such, they were known to have provided ADR Recording services in 2013 for Star Trek Into Darkness, albeit uncredited. However, the company appears to have gone out of bussiness shortly afterward, as its official company website went off-line around March 2014.

Further reading

  • "Compositing Special Effects", Dale Kutzera, Cinefantastique, Vol 28 #4/5, 1996, pp. 64-67

External links