As for the visual effects, everything is being handled on campus and done from scratch. The university offers a visual effects major, with graduates having worked on such films as Avatar, The Avengers and Game of Thrones. "Almost every element, other than the actors and the dirt they're walking on, has to be added in post-production," DeNigris said. There are even nods to the games being added to the film. A close examination of the trailer shows the UI from the original Mass Effect game, and DeNigris hinted that other "Easter eggs" will be throughout the film for fans of the games as well.
Evans said a good number of the crew have played through the Mass Effect trilogy, himself included, while others picked them up after the project started. And DeNigris said a day does not go by without discussions of the lore and conversations on the appropriateness of certain scenes or script elements related to Mass Effect canon.
"The issue of when the Systems Alliance was formed is a big one because it happens around the time our movie is set in, but there seems to be a lot of debate about whether it happened before or after Grissom went through the Charon Relay," DeNigris said. "Another issue we've wrestled with is the terraforming of Mars. Obviously we couldn't shoot in low gravity, and it would look silly if we shot everything in slow-motion to convey low gravity. We also didn't want everyone to be wearing helmets through the film, so one of our design principles was that Mars is in the process of being terraformed. Gravity is going up and the atmosphere is starting to become oxygenated. Our soldiers and scientists that don't live on Mars full time need helmets to survive. But our miners and the villains -- the criminals known as 'The Red Sand' -- live on Mars and are becoming acclimated to the environment. Lastly, the emergence of biotic powers among humans is an issue that's been debated, but there again our 'Red Sand' bad guys are living on Mars and their bodies have become saturated with the narcotic that would later bear their name, and thus have developed biotic powers far beyond those other humans would have for decades."
DeNigris said the film is going to be released on YouTube in August, but he doesn't want to pin down a specific date until more of the visual special effects are complete. However, a trailer has already been posted to build excitement:
Meer and an extra take aim. The green screen behind will help with special effects later