January ushered in the release of two critically acclaimed and highly anticipated projects for which Engine Room was the sole contributor of key visual effects – Universal’s Alpha Dog (dir. Nick Casavetes) and Paramount’s Freedom Writers (dir. Richard LaGravenese). On both Los Angeles urban tales, Visual Effects Supervisor and Engine Room Founder Dan Schmit and his team collaborated with filmmakers to give them the visual look and feel sought for on each project. While neither of these films was what would normally be considered an "effects" movie, Engine Room’s role contributed greatly to their overall power.