from the Flickering Myth article:
Trevor Hogg chats with visual effects supervisors Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Phil Brennan, Todd Shifflett, Bryan Hirota, Nicolas Hernandez, Edson Williams, Steve Moncur and Angela Barson as well as effects supervisor Lindsay MacGowan, Nvizage owner / founder Martin Chamney and creative director Henry Hobson about their work on Snow White and the Huntsman...
“I have a long standing relationship with Rupert [Sanders]; for the last eight years I did a lot of his commercials so when Snow White and the Huntsman  came along he wanted me on the job,” recalls Visual Effects Supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (Solstice) as to how he came to get involved with the re-imagining of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. “At the time I had retired from visual effects and was directing commercials on my own, but the opportunity was too big to refuse.” The two veteran collaborators share a similar creative style and sensibility. “It was more about figuring things out together and less about me trying to decipher what he wanted.” Having to deal with a director helming his feature film debut was not a major issue. “Ru is a very smart guy who is very collaborative and doesn't get stuck with the idea of his way is the only way; he listens, processes and always tries to make the best educated decision.”
Unlike most films two rather then one visual effects supervisors where responsible for the project. “It was a bit of a leap for the studio to jump ahead with a first time director and visual effects supervisor on a [movie of this] scale that has a very short turnaround in post,” admits Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. “Having a second visual effects supervisor helped everybody to sleep better at night but very soon it became something else. It was great to work with Phil [Brennan]. We have the same type of background and approach to the work. I had to design a lot of the creatures that you see in the movie plus work with Ru on a daily basis to develop the look of the film. Later I directed a few 2nd unit scenes so I was not on-set for the main unit. It was amazing to have Phil with me; otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to do that at all. In post because the turnaround was short we were able to divide the work. Phil went back to the UK many times to look over our UK vendors while I was staying under the California sun.”
“We wanted to keep the fairy tale aspect somewhat grounded,’ states Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. “The first thing was not trying to explain everything and anything. The second thing was to avoid any type of light, glowy or over-the-top effectsy FX as much as possible. We tried to root any type of fantasy aspect so it is not realistic but still feels real in the world we created. We also tried to keep the design unified and away from a patchy all over the place type of feeling, especially, when you have to cover so many different types of visual effects.” Phil Brennan [Terminator Salvation] notes, “Even though there is the underlining fairy tale theme to it, it’s a gritty adventure action film. A lot of that comes from Rupert. Rupert didn’t want things to look over-the-top; he wanted things to have a gritty dark believability about them so we were always leaning in that direction.” Nicolas-Troyan observes, “It's funny how everybody imagines Snow White as the Disney character. The original tale is much more vague and dark.” Brennan sees more of a connection with the fantasy trilogy helmed by Peter Jackson than the medieval story directed by Ridley Scott. “The Lord of the Rings [2001 to 2003] comes in because there’s a lot of scale. There’s a lot of journeying so it has that same epic feel to it. Robin Hood  I’m not so sure. We’re drawing on anything that has tons of battles.” As for what will make this version of Snow White distinct, he remarks, “That comes from Rupert himself; he has a unique vision and visual style so bringing that into play, at least visually, gives the movie a unique look.”