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Ogden-based One Ring Studios creates ‘invisible effects’ for new Sundance Film

Utah-based visual effects company partners with L.A. studio for ‘Bring on the Dancing Horses,’ which premieres at this year’s Sundance Film Festival

By Deann Armes - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Jan 13, 2022

Photo supplied

Felipe Zamora., CEO and co-founder of The One Ring Studios.

Ogden-based The One Ring Studios makes their film festival debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 20-30, with “Bring on the Dancing Horses,” produced by and starring Kate Bosworth and directed by her husband, Michael Polish. The visual effects company, currently located at The Bonneville workspace on Historic 25th Street, partnered with Sugar Studio in Los Angeles to provide visual effects for the Western drama series that will premiere as part of Sundance’s Indie Episodic Program.

Founders of The One Ring Studios Felipe Zamora and Matthew Finley relocated to Ogden in early 2020 to work on a film project, reuniting several years after working together in Hawaii as part of a developing film group promoting filmmaking on the Big Island with state and private investors.

Zamora says it’s possible to work remotely from Utah in the film industry. “A lot of Disney shows, Hallmark movies and bigger shows once in a while” are filmed in Utah, he said, where the Hollywood presence is growing steadily. But because so much of their work is digital, they are able to grow their company and work with productions anywhere in the states or around the world.

The One Rings Studios is currently working with local production companies creating visual effects for five feature films, with directors like Tim Story, who directed “Tom and Jerry” and “Fantastic Four.” Their multicultural visual effects and animation studio in downtown Ogden also has a hub in Mexico and an LA presence.

While big visual effects, like monsters, make the “movie magic” happen, says Zamora, their ultimate goal is that people don’t notice the visual effects. “Invisible effects” they say, is the most important element of their work.

Photo supplied

Matthew Finley, co-founder of The One Ring Studios.

Finley often travels to set locations during filming to provide assistance, such as making sure eye lines are in the right spot or that the lighting works. Later, The One Ring Studios will polish the footage by digitally adding important details and removing distractions so viewers can stay focused on the story.

“(Visual effects) is a lot of things people don’t usually think about,” Finley said. “People think about Transformers and robots and explosions, but what we’re also doing is enhancing the story and making everything make sense.”

An inspired conglomerate of artists, VFX supervisors, VFX producers and innovators, One Ring is joined in a mission to produce digital art and to serve stories. They handle every phase of moving digital art, from feature films to episodic short films to commercials and special projects. Learn more at theoneringstudios.com.

Sundance Film Festival 2022 announced earlier this month that it will be online only. For information and tickets to view “Bring on the Dancing Horses” and other films virtually, visit festival.sundance.org.

The One Ring Studios is a visual effects company based in Ogden that worked on an upcoming series that premieres at Sundance Film Festival this year.

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