With 776 of the Allied's 954 total shots involving effects, it's the latest example of a film that relies on VFX more heavily than most audiences might realize.
For discussions about Robert Zemeckis' World War II thriller ..., visual effects might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But with 776 of the film's 954 total shots involving effects, it's the latest example of a film that relies on VFX more heavily than most audiences might realize.
To stay within the Paramount film's $85 million budget — while enlisting Brad Pitt as intelligence officer Max Vatan, who in 1942 North Africa meets French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour, played by Marion Cotillard — the VFX-savvy director made the call not to send his cast and crew to film in remote locations such as a vast Sahara Desert and Morocco's largest city, Casablanca.
Rather the majority of the film was shot by cinematographer Don Burgess on sets in London — some quite minimal — with bluescreen and then completed with CG environments and set extensions. ...
Most of the effects in Robert Zemeckis's new picture are seamless. They resemble nothing so much as various locales in North Africa and Britain, and audiences wouldn't know otherwise.
Allied is one more step in the digital evolution of movie-making. No distant planets or jungles from Kipling's India here, but World War II airfields, British streets, and North African squares.
... To create the CG Sahara Desert, Casablanca and various small villages in France, Baillie and a small team visited the actual locations to take photographs, digital scans and surveys that were later used to accurately create fully digital versions of the locations. ...
An overall challenge was the schedule, and to finish on time, Atomic Fiction — which maintains facilities in Oakland, Calif. and Montreal — relied on its cloud-based rendering service Conductor that allows the company to ramp up or down on rendering power as needed by the production. Says Baillie: "From the moment we wrapped to the time we had to be done with the VFX, it was only four and a half months. The final month alone, I think we did 4 million processor hours of rendering in Conductor."
Shrinking production schedules aren't just part of effects heavy live action pics. Animated CG productions have also seen progressively shorter time-frames. Extra staff is hired in front of release deadlines, then laid off when the crunch is over.
The brave new world of movie-making.