Cincinnati Digital Effects Designer make Alice in Wonderland movie pop

Tim Burton's take on the  Alice in Wonderland movie is making a killing at the box office. And the movie, starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway has a Cincinnati connection.

Northsider David Lombardi recently spent a couple of months out in LA, as the movie's Lead Compositor. He supervised the movie's 3D effects work, in a new post-production technique. The reemerging 3D movie market is still experimenting on the best, most cost efficient way to do 3D, Lombardi said.

"It was a big task, and was the hardest project I've ever worked on," he said.

Lombardi's work on Alice in Wonderland is one of a string of well-known projects he's worked on including Sin City, The Terminal, Beowulf, and commercials for Target, United Airlines and Lexus.

Lombardi is a Pittsburgh native who studied industrial design at the University of Cincinnati. He'd left the area and had worked in digital effects industry for about a decade in L.A. But after establishing himself, Lombardi decided to return to the Cincinnati area with his wife, Erin, to runs his own digital effects business. Why did he come back to Cincinnati? One simple reason.

"Quality of life. L.A. is a really neat place, and it's where you should be if you're in film or television. But if you're good at it people make sure they work you to death to the detriment of family and personal life," Lombardi said.

Lombardi has lived Northside for five years; he owns and operates Lombardi VFX from his home. Though he occasionally travels for work like he did during Alice In Wonderland, he can usually work from Cincinnati.

"It's just me. Visual effects work for the most part is a freelance-based industry. In Alice in Wonderland you would be hard-pressed to find people who are staff. Seventy-five percent of people are freelancers who go from job to job," he said.

He's maintained his L.A. relationships and still has an agent out west. But living in Cincinnati allows him to better manage his business and life.

"People out in L.A. ask me, 'Isn't Cincinnati boring? But we go out three or four times a week with friends. I ask them 'When was the last time you went out with friends?'

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: David Lombardi, owner Lombardi VFX
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