Digital Domain Wins the HPA Outstanding Visual Effects Award for ‘Black Widow’

Visual Effects Studio Honored for its Post-Production Work on Marvel Studios’ Blockbuster Film

November 19, 2021

Legendary visual effects studio Digital Domain today announces it has won the HPA Award for “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Theatrical Feature” for its work on Marvel Studios’ Black Widow. Awarded by the Hollywood Professional Association, the HPA Awards recognize exemplary and innovative work in the field of visual effects and post-production. This marks Digital Domain’s second HPA Award.


Digital Domain’s work on Black Widow set a new high-water mark for onscreen destruction. Overseen by David Hodgins (VFX Supervisor), Hanzhi Tang (DFX Supervisor), Ryan Duhaime (CG Supervisor), James Reid (CG Supervisor) and Edmond Smith III (FX Supervisor), Digital Domain’s artists created the flying fortress known as the “Red Room,” then systematically destroyed it, piece by piece.

The VFX team worked hand-in-hand with the filmmakers and performers to blend live-action footage of the heroes and villains escaping the destruction by free-falling away from the structure, while avoiding thousands of pieces of debris – ranging in size from full, flaming buildings to tiny metallic slivers. The scene was so data-intensive that it required Digital Domain to utilize GPU rendering to keep track of all the moving pieces.


“One of the things we love about our partnership with Marvel Studios is that they always give us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and create things that have never been seen before on screen,” said John Fragomeni, global president of Digital Domain. “To receive this award is extremely validating for our supervisors and artists, and goes to show that being bold pays off.”


The award was presented to Digital Domain at the HPA Awards ceremony, held on November 18 at the Hollywood Legion Theater in Los Angeles. HPA Awards are voted on by a panel of judges dedicated to advancements in post-production. Digital Domain’s previous HPA Award win came in 2020 for “Outstanding Visual Effects – Episodic (Under 13 Episodes) or Non-theatrical Feature” for the Lost in Space season two episode, “Shipwrecked.”