If you haven't heard enough about how I finally got to do that thing I was talking about, Debra Kaufman has written an excellent article for Film & Video called The Spirit Closes the Distance Between VFX and the DI.
The Spirit, directed by Frank Miller and based on the Will Eisner comic book series, points the way toward a new integration of digital production and post. That’s thanks to The Orphanage, a VFX/production company in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and its co-founder Stu Maschwitz, the movie’s second unit director and visual effects supervisor. “Every movie is a collaboration between visual effects artists and the DI artist, but they never meet and they never see each other’s work,” said Maschwitz. “They get approved in a vacuum. The colorist doesn’t get to pass any wisdom back to the VFX artist, and the VFX artist thinks, ‘We’ll color this in post.’ It’s an important collaboration that’s broken. We’re still scheduling the DI at the end of the process, approving visual effects shots before we’ve thought much about the digital intermediate."
With The Spirit, Maschwitz saw an opportunity. “I thought, here’s a chance to put my money where my mouth is,” he said. “Because of its principle creative, the movie is going to be a visual feast. I wanted to put into practice some ideas about how to better integrate those two really important processes: visual effects and DI.”