BARBOURSVILLE -- In a small, sparse office in Barboursville, magic is being made -- movie magic, that is.
Husband-and-wife team Brad Kalinoski and Tina Wallace own Exodus FX, a visual effects company that works in film and television. After living and working everywhere from Vancouver to Los Angeles to New York and even China, the West Virginia natives decided to return home.
"We came back to change the mentality against West Virginia, the negative image we have," said Kalinoski, whose family lives in Huntington.
The move allows them to offer their services at a lower cost while also promoting West Virginia. He said they want to assist the West Virginia Film Office in helping sell the state within the industry. They're also working with students in Marshall's School of Art & Design to help better prepare them for a career in the industry. (When Marshall's new Visual Arts Center is completed in 2014, Kalinoski and Wallace will move their office there.)
Wallace returned in 2010 to get the company started. Kalinoski spent that year shuttling back and forth to New York, where he worked for Look Effects, including on the Oscar-winning "Black Swan," which earned him a Visual Effects Society award nomination. He settled here last year.
So far things have been good, they said.
"We've been really, really busy," Kalinoski said. "Busier than we ever expected."
Workdays can last 20 hours, and it's not uncommon to work six days a week.
Kalinoski is a compositor, and his wife is a rotoscope/paint artist. Compositing combines elements from separate sources into single images. Rotoscoping is used to create mattes, which are used in compositing, and painting removes elements such as production equipment or actors' safety gear from a shot.
"She takes stuff out," Kalinoski said.
"And he adds stuff in," Wallace said.
Working with them are associate producer Jennifer Ogrin, the only other employee in the Barboursville office, and five other artists who work remotely from their homes -- including one in Argentina.
Recently, they have worked on films including "The Muppets," "Moonrise Kingdom," "End of Watch" and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (now showing at Park Place Cinemas). Coming up, Kalinoski will work on the comedy "Gods Behaving Badly" starring Christopher Walken and Sharon Stone, and the company is bidding for work on the Darren Aronofsky/Russell Crowe biblical epic "Noah" and "The Blair Witch Project 3."
Kalinoski hopes they'll land work on "Independence Day 2" as well. They've done plenty lately for the film's co-writer/producer Dean Devlin, just finishing more than 100 shots for his television heist drama "Leverage."
"They really liked our work and us so much they gave us some of the most difficult shots you could do," said Kalinoski, who has been working with Devlin for three years.