Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blending Formats, Gaining Ideas

VFX super Stephane Ceretti speaks about Doc Strange, the Movie:

CS: You’ve been working with Marvel for awhile now. Does each project feel like it’s own world or does it feel like building one giant universe?

Stephane Ceretti: It’s funny. It’s one world, but it’s also many worlds. I’ve been lucky enough to explore a lot of them. I worked second unit on “Captain America,” which was setting up that character. I got to work with Joe Johnston, which was really great. ...

CS: Doctor Strange is getting a lot of notice for its innovative visuals. Where did those begin as far as realizing the look you wanted?

Stephane Ceretti: It’s been a long process. We started in September of 2014, just after I finished “Guardians.” Scott [Derrickson] was already on the project. He had started to write the script and he had a list of visual that he wanted to use in the film. Some were from other films, others were from photographs or paintings. He kind of collected together a list of things that we looked at. Charlie Wood, the production designer, came to LA and we did a kind of brainstorming bootcamp to figure out what we were going to do for the film visually. ...

CS: Do you need to make firm rules about what is and isn’t possible in the realm of sorcery?

Stephane Ceretti: That’s the big balance that we were trying to find throughout production. Even in post-production, to be honest. How much do you explain? How much do you show? You don’t want to explain everything, because then it gets tedious. You want the visuals to integrate into the story, but not to take over the story. ...

And then the quote that made me laugh:

CS: What about the Cloak of Levitation? I’m assuming that was a blend of both practical and visual effects.

Stephane Ceretti: There’s a lot of practical cloak in the film and the practical cloak is a beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful piece of fabric. Originally, the Cloak of Levitation was just the Cloak of Levitation. It was helping him fly. Then we figured out as we were doing pre-vis that it would be great if it was actually a character. We looked at the magic carpet in “Aladdin.” There was some cool stuff there. It could be the story of a cowboy and his horse. He finds that horse in nature and they don’t know each other. The horse has never been with a cowboy before. But then they kind of get to learn each other. They form that relationship by the end. That’s the arc we wanted to do. ...

Good ideas don't disintegrate with age.

They just go into hibernation and reappear in another place and time ... and end up being a good idea all over again.


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