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Meet Denny Ertanto, a digital compositor for 'Avengers: Endgame'

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, May 10, 2019  /  11:04 am
Meet Denny Ertanto, a digital compositor for 'Avengers: Endgame'

Meet Denny Ertanto, a digital compositor for 'Avengers: Endgame' (Instagram/File/dennyert)

Avengers: Endgame has gained box-office success worldwide since its premiere in late April. Helmed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the film has earned over $2.19 billion worldwide in 11 days, reports cnbc.com.

The Avengers: Endgame hype is also apparent in Indonesia, where people have been willing to watch the film at 5 a.m. Taruna “Dana” Diyapradana, an admin of a comic book enthusiast community called Komrikmania, is among those who watched the film at 8.30 a.m. on April 24 – the day when the film premiered in Indonesia.

Visual effect artist Denny Ertanto (left) poses with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo when he visited New Zealand. Visual effect artist Denny Ertanto (left) poses with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo when he visited New Zealand. (instagram.com/dennyert/File)

Dana said the film was the peak of Marvel’s 11-year journey that kicked off with Iron Man ( 2008 ), and he also praised the visual effects. “Aesthetically, the film has the most ambitious [visual effects] compared with Marvel’s previous films. The last scenes were colossal, they surpassed Avengers: Infinity War,” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday, May 1.

Meanwhile, Firmanto Sibarani, a Marvel and DC comics reader who watched Avengers: Endgame on April 28, also praised the film’s visual effects. “If there was something that the film failed to show, it’s barely noticeable,” Firmanto said via an instant messaging app on the same day.

Among the film’s visual effects team was Indonesian Denny Ertanto, currently based in New Zealand.

Denny, a digital compositor, works at Weta Digital, which took part in handling some parts of Avengers: Endgame’s visual effects. “My job was combining shooting footage or images resulting from computer-generated imagery [CGI] and making sure the image and lighting composition were as real as possible,” wrote Denny in an e-mail interview with The Jakarta Post.

Read also: Indonesian helps create visual effects for ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Becoming a digital compositor is tough. Denny had to deal with tight deadlines and spent five months in total to work on around one minute of footage. Another challenge lies in the technical aspect where he highlighted the actors’ expressions and performances when applying digital makeup for close-up shots.

“I have to stay fit and focused despite the deadlines because sometimes we had to work overtime for three to four months,” said Denny. “The challenge is also how to maintain our quality amid tight schedules.”

The 30-year old’s interest in art and design flourished at a young age. After graduating from senior high school in Indonesia, he studied at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore and continued to Vancouver Film School in Canada for one year. He has also worked in Batam and Shanghai before moving to New Zealand in 2016.

As of now, Denny's visual effects portfolio includes Avengers: Infinity War, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Revenant.

Denny encourages any Indonesian wanting to follow in his path to step out of their comfort zones.

“Everything requires sacrifice. It’s important to work hard, but don’t forget who we are and the people around us. Keep yourself healthy with a balanced life. If you still fail, keep trying,” Denny said. “Do as much research as possible about the [film] industry because we can take part in different departments.”

Denny is open to opportunities for working on visual effects for Indonesian films as long as it suits his schedule. Though he does not consider himself selective in choosing projects his interest revolves around monster, horror and zombie movies. “If I have the chance, I like to work on those genres,” he said. (mut)