Sandy Houston's career in animation and visual effects has involved 70 plus movie projects — including animated classic Watership Down, visual effects landmark Jurassic Park, and Oscar-winners The Return of the King and King Kong. Along the way she has been on hand to watch computers become key tools in creating screen illusion.

Something new gets developed, and you can do something completely different —something that you haven't seen before. We get excited working on it, so we know the audience is just going to be blown away. Sandy Houston, on the excitement of working with new visual effects techniques
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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

2013, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

After only 17 days in international cinemas, the first part of the Hobbit trilogy stacked up enough treasure to become 2012's fourth highest-grossing movie. In part two director Peter Jackson ups the adventure quotient further, thanks to spiders, high speed river rides and the first encounter between hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Smaug the Dragon, as envisioned by Weta Digital and British star du jour Benedict Cumberbatch. Legolas (Orlando Bloom), one of the breakout characters in the Lord of the Rings movies, also makes an appearance.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

2013, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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The Wolverine

2013, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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Man of Steel

2013, Visual Effects - Film

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

2012, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

JRR Tolkien's beloved novel The Hobbit follows Bilbo Baggins on a quest to help reclaim the lost dwarf homeland of Erebor from the dragon Smaug. Shoulder-tapped by Gandalf for the mission against some opposition, Bilbo joins a company of dwarves in an epic adventure: vying against goblins, orcs and Gollum's riddles. After the box office blitzing and Oscar-slaying Lord of the Rings trilogy, adapting the precursor novel was an expected journey. Martin Freeman (The Office, Sherlock) is Bilbo, and Peter Jackson is again at the helm in this first of a three-part adaptation.

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X-Men: First Class

2011, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

2011, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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The Adventures of Tintin

2011, Visual Effects - Film

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District 9

2009, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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Avatar

2009, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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The Lovely Bones

2009, Visual Effects - Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

Scriptwriter Philippa Boyens has described Alice Sebold's bestselling book The Lovely Bones as "brutal, surprising, gorgeous". A tale of murder and how the victim's family and friends try to deal with it, the story is told from the perspective of the victim — 14-year-old Susie Salmon. For the movie adaptation. Peter Jackson and his Weta FX team engaged in more Heavenly Creatures style world-building, rendering an afterlife for Susie that "alters and shifts" with her mood. Time praised the film's "gravity and grace", plus Saoirse Ronan's BAFTA-nominated performance as Susie.

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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

2008, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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The Water Horse

2007, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

2007, Paint and Rotoscoping Co-Supervisor - Games

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Bridge to Terabithia

2007, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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30 Days of Night

2007, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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King Kong

2005, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Co-Supervisor - Film

Peter Jackson's love affair with moviemaking and special effects was ignited by seeing the original King Kong (1933) as a child. Jackson's Kiwi-shot remake takes one of cinema's most iconic monster movies, retains the 30s setting and iconic New York finale, and toughens up the "beauty" (Naomi Watts). The film also transforms the male (non-ape) lead from lunkhead to sensitive playwright (Adrien Brody). Exhilarating, Oscar-winning CGI brings the great ape to life, alongside rampaging dinosaurs, and oversized wētā inexplicably absent from the maligned 1976 remake.

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Beyond Borders

2003, Visual Effects - Lead Digital Artist - Film

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2003, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

Monstrous spiders, dragon-aided epic battles, endangered hobbits and final farewells ... the finale of the Lord of the Rings trilogy boldly upped the ante. Although the first two films had excited viewers, critics and accountants, Return of the King sealed Peter Jackson's place in movie legend. Reviewers praised it with gusto and the film won a staggering 11 Oscars, a total matched only by Titanic and Ben-Hur. Return anointed a Hollywood empire in the Wellington suburb of Miramar. The box office figures weren't half bad, and nor was the effect on New Zealand tourism.

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102 Dalmatians

2000, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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Dragonheart

1996, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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The Frighteners

1996, Visual Effects - Film

Peter Jackson’s fifth feature is a playful blend of comedy, thriller and supernatural horror and was an effective Hollywood calling card for Weta FX. Frank Bannister (Michael J Fox) resides in Fairwater, where he runs a supernatural scam. Aided by some spectral consorts, he engineers hauntings and “exorcises” the ghosts for a fee. When a genuine spook starts knocking off the locals, the FBI suspects Frank is the culprit. To clear his name, Frank must deal to the real perpetrator – none other than the Grim Reaper ...

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Casper

1995, Visual Effects - Paint and Rotoscoping Supervisor - Film

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Forrest Gump

1994, Visual Effects - Film

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Schindler's List

1993, Visual Effects - Film

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Jurassic Park

1993, Visual Effects - Film

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Death Becomes Her

1992, Visual Effects - Film

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Hook

1991, Visual Effects - Film

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Terminator 2: Judgement Day

1991, Rotoscope Artist - Film

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Ghost

1990, Rotoscope Artist - Film

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Back to the Future Part ll

1989, Rotoscope Artist - Film

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit

1988, Rotoscope Artist - Film

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Willow

1988, Rotoscope Artist - Film

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The Goonies

1985, Visual Effects - Film

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Young Sherlock Holmes

1985, Rotoscope Artist - Film

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Pink Floyd: The Wall

1982, Animator - Film

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The Plague Dogs

1982, Animator - Film

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Watership Down

1978, Animator - Film

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Kama Sutra Rides Again

1972, Animator - Short Film

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Henry 9 'til 5

1970, Animator - Short Film