What to Expect From “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” According to Filipino FX Artist Aldo Scarella

The sequel to the award-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is coming soon! And we are thrilled to announce that one of the remarkable artists behind one of the much-anticipated movies this year is a Filipino – Aldo Scarella!



Scarella grew up in Quezon City for 21 years before moving to Canada to make his dream of working in the movie industry come true. “It was a childhood dream of mine to one day work in the movie industry but life happened and I found myself being 27 and in a cushy IT job, at Hewlett-Packard,” he recalled. One day, he decided to just go for it, so he “moved to Vancouver, studied visual effects, and never looked back.”

Spider-Man/Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animations’ SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Now, it’s safe to say that he made it, being one of the creative minds behind “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” His job entails “[creating] simulations like rain and motion streaks that fit the unique graphic look of the film.” As for what he loves about the second installment of the movie franchise, here’s what he said: “The great thing about Across the Spider-Verse is that each universe has its own unique art style. I loved helping make Spider-Man 2099’s unique world come to life by creating the environment motion streaks.”

We also got to interview the astounding Filipino FX artist where he spills more details on the Spider-Verse sequel! Furthermore, he shares his inspiring journey to encourage more Pinoy hopefuls, plus we’ve tucked in some production stills so keep scrolling!

Ben Reilly in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animations’ SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

First, of course, we asked Scarella how it feels to be part of this upcoming movie.

“It definitely feels great knowing I played a small part in bringing this movie to the big screen. It’s extremely satisfying knowing all the hard work paid off.”

Then, we asked him to expound on what he does for those who are not familiar with animation production (e.g., me).

“Basically, as FX Artists, we use a software called Houdini to create elements that are essential to a scene (not characters). For example, we usually make explosions, water, destruction, smoke, etc. In other words, an animator would animate Spider-Man punching a wall, while an FX artist would destroy the wall.

Gwen Stacy in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

For this movie, because the art style was so unique, we had to use the software to add non-typical effects to match the art style of a specific universe. Motion streaks were needed on the train sequence to help sell the sense of danger and speed. I created a setup in Houdini that would make objects “blur” with a stylized look. I also did the same for the rain.

We had dozens of extremely talented FX artists on this show, all working very hard to add memorable moments to the film. I feel lucky to have been part of such a great team.”

Spider-Man is one of the most popular superhero characters in the Philippines so we just had to ask, “Are you also a Spider-Man fan?”

“Yes, I’ve always loved superheroes, and Spider-Man was definitely one of my favorites. I remember being 4 years old and a family friend drawing Spider-Man for me as a gift. It seemed like the coolest thing ever at the time.”

Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animations’ SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

And as a fan, “What do you like the most about Miles Morales’ version of Spider-Man?”

“The thing I like the most about Miles Morales is his relatability. At the end of the day, he is still a teenager with insecurities. All the trappings of growing up, wanting to belong, and exploring your identity, still apply to him. So you can really connect with his struggle. But at the same time, he is extremely smart, without being arrogant, and chooses to be brave when it’s not easy. His bravery and loyalty make him very endearing.”

Before achieving his childhood dream, there were also struggles he encountered along the way growing up in the Philippines.

“Looking back now, I think the biggest struggle I had was mainly hesitancy to communicate. Filipinos tend to be a little more shy and timid. But in this industry, you need to be willing to be upfront and have the confidence to speak up. Don’t be afraid to have a point of view or an opinion. The best results can happen in lively but professional discussions about certain topics. Filipinos, are smart. [We] learn quickly and work really hard but sometimes, it’s like we are too afraid to have a voice.”

Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) and his daughter Mayday in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animations’ SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

He also dove deeper into his journey to success, to inspire those who have the same dream as his!

“Working on movies is definitely not an impossible dream. [In fact,] there were Filipinos in a wide range of departments in all six studios I’ve ever worked at. You don’t [even] have to go to a fancy school to get your foot in the door either. The internet is full of inexpensive resources that you can use to start building your skill set. Use them to build a solid foundation then really prioritize honing your skills.

I’ve seen people from places like the Philippines, who were just on “Beast Mode” when it came to practicing. Day and night, they would be at home making short animations or simulations. Eventually, they [would be able to] put together a small reel of work good enough to land a starting job, and the rest is history.”

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) take on The Spot (Jason Schwartzman) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Aside from Miles, Scarella also shared his favorite Spider-Man in the saga!

“I think Spider-Noir was amazing in the first Spider-Verse movie. He was a perfect combination of over-the-top moodiness and humor. Plus, who isn’t a fan of Nicolas Cage?!”

Since each universe in the Spider-Verse “has its own unique art style,” we also asked him his favorite!

Miguel O’Hara as Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

“My favorite universe look is that of Miguel O’Hara, which is Nueva York. It has this architectural rendering vibe and I don’t think we’ve ever seen that art style in motion before. It looks very technical and precise but still like a sketch.”

Finally, here’s a little something that fans should watch out for in this upcoming Spider-Verse sequel!

“The trailer already teased it, but fans can definitely watch out to see if their favorite Spider-Man variant makes an appearance in this second film in the trilogy. Aside from that, an amazing story and more spectacular visuals.”

Spider-Man India (Karan Soni) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animations’ SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

In case you missed it, it has been revealed earlier that the Spider-Verse will be a trilogy. More recently, the title of the final installment of the film franchise (formerly referred to as “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part II”) has also been announced to be “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse​​​​​​.”

But first, watch the “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” trailer below!

Based on MARVEL comic books, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is directed by ​​​Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson and produced by Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord Christopher, and Miller Christina Steinberg; with a screenplay by​​ Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, and David Callaham.

Spider-Man/Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animations’ SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

The next chapter of the Oscar-winning Spider-Verse saga stars Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Jason Schwartzman, Brian Tyree, Henry Luna, Lauren Velez, Greta Lee, Rachel Dratch, Jorma Taccone, Shea Whigham, Oscar Isaac​​​, and Andy Samberg.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” opens in Philippine cinemas on May 31!

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