Lightwave International Inc. has kept Roger Waters, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Madonna, Rihanna, Jane's Addiction and Tom Petty in the laser loop.
The company, based in Eighty-Four in Washington County, also projected the glowing green bat on the side of Fifth Avenue Place in July 2011 to welcome "The Dark Knight Rises." Commissioned by the Pittsburgh Film Office and Idea Foundry, the unmistakable symbol stopped Downtown traffic as fans swerved to the curb to shoot photos.
Now, Lightwave has provided lasers for "Oblivion," the sci-fi movie starring Tom Cruise, and you can find the proof in the credits. Watch for "Laser Display Systems" and you will find Lightwave International Inc.
Main programmer Mike Dunn and laser technicians George Dodworth and Derek Abbott worked on the movie, set largely in 2077, at multiple locations in the United States with much of the work done in New Orleans. In a remarkable show of restraint, they didn't dip into the full screenplay, keeping themselves spoiler-free.
Bright, brilliant and believable lights shoot from drones on a postapocalyptic Earth and scan across a human to identify friend or foe.
"We can actually use real lasers and they can be captured through the glass, that's a term I just love. It's real. If you were there with the actors, the lasers were actually there," and you're seeing what they witnessed during rehearsals or filming, Mr. Dodworth said.
"It's very powerful that two people or three people and this very specialized equipment can create that in real life. That a drone -- it's not a far-fetched sort of future reality -- really could have lasers scanning, and we don't need computers to simulate that, we can do that in real life."
This wasn't Lightwave's first brush with movies or TV, having worked on "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Cowboys & Aliens" along with shows such as "Saturday Night Live," music videos and commercials.
The lasers look great, but what about the movie?
"I loved it. I was completely blown away," Mr. Dodworth said after a sneak preview Tuesday at AMC-Loews at the Waterfront.
"Any time you do a film, you want to like it because you want it to be successful and you want your work to be seen. I was expecting the traditional sci-fi thriller, but I was really blown away by this love story. ...
"If you're a couple, a husband and wife, you should go see this together. Even if you don't like sci-fi, there's such a powerful message there. We talked for hours after. We avoided the spoilers; I had no idea what was going to happen."
First Published April 19, 2013 4:00 AM