The Pyramid is a horror film directed by Grégory Levasseur (The Hills Have Eyes ). It is also produced by Chadi Eli Mattar, the first Lebanese to graduate from the American Film Institute. But what is super interesting is that all the special effects of this 20th Century Fox film were done by Cliche VFX. Director Oliver Ojeil is at the helm of this firm. Here is the official synopsis: "The ancient wonders of the world have long cursed explorers who've dared to uncover their secrets. But a team of U.S. archaeologists gets more than they bargained for when they discover a lost pyramid unlike any other in the Egyptian desert. As they unlock the horrific secrets buried within, they realize they aren't just trapped; they are being hunted." And here's the trailer: ,

StepFeed interviewed Oliver Ojeil to discover more about the special effects:

Your firm has worked on several ads and promotional videos. Did you find working on a feature film to be different? How so?

"I am a film director myself who loves visual effects. So when the opportunity came to work as a visual effects supervisor on a Hollywood movie, I said yes in a heartbeat! Working on a feature film is a much, much more exciting venture because it is more challenging, and works with different dynamics than advertising. Knowing that you're working on something that is going to end up on the big screen makes the whole team much more enthusiastic about the job as opposed to working on an ad."

What were the highlights of working on a feature film?

"We had to build a different team structure, an internal pipeline, in order to handle the 70 VFX (visual effects) shots that we were tasked by 20th Century Fox on The Pyramid. It was kind of new for us because on movies, digital artists tend to specialize more. Meaning an artist (or several) would be in charge of 3D modeling, another for lighting, another for compositing etc. In ads 3D artists are more generalists who juggle between various departments. This pipeline meant more preparation and coordination for us, but it was a fun challenge. Pushing yourself to new heights is something quite inspiring on a feature film and that is something that really excited the artists working on this. We hit some technical limitations along the way and solving them wasn't that easy of a task, largely due to the lack of VFX movie infrastructure in Lebanon. We were the first guys from the region to ever work on a Hollywood movie, which meant that we had to experiment a lot and to find solutions to the problems that came up along the way. It was an amazing working experience."

What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?

"It was mainly hard to find the proper talent locally that can handle such high-end work, mainly because we were the first guys to do this, so there was no one experienced with VFX work on feature films. We pulled it off and were able to assemble an amazing team that merged with our already talented team in-house and nailed this."

What is unique or especially interesting about working on the special effects of a horror movie?

"You get to work on some gruesome monsters and fun stuff. A lot of stuff in horror is about exaggerating the effect, meaning more blood when otherwise there shouldn't be as much. Or more smoke, or more dust and debris etc."

Do you have any plans to work on more feature films?

"Definitely! We have been approached by few producers in LA who are looking for affordable VFX solutions overseas after they saw and liked our work on The Pyramid, and we will also be doing the VFX for one of Silvatar 's upcoming movies."