The recently released Brightburn has been scaring audiences with its tale of a child with superhuman abilities – that, unlike his Marvel and DC peers, is pure evil. Director David Yarovesky partnered with producer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) to tell the tale, and also brought in Berlin-based Trixter to handle the VFX. With Trixter being based in Germany, Yarovesky needed a solution to help communicate effectively from his US base. In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Yarovesky talked about how cineSync was that solution.
From the interview:
You mentioned your love of special effects, you said you shot cannonballs through walls. I imagine that might be for scenes where we see Brandon flying through rooms like that last shot in the extended trailer where Elizabeth Banks is cowering under the table while he’s flying through and busting up the walls. Can you tell me a little bit about picking the right CGI effect? Do people send you a version and you go, “I want motion blur here, I want him to be faster, I want him to be slower?” What is that process like, and when do you finally hit it?
First of all, Trixter was our special effects company. They did an incredible job. They did a lot of work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a lot of stuff with Rocket. And so we had incredible partners. The second thing is that I had James, who has an amazing eye for special effects that’s obviously been tuned across the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. I’ve always had him to help me and to be a library of knowledge for me to pull from. Then, I have my own sort of technical understanding, from making a ton of music videos, and The Hive. I gained my own experience in doing my own visual effects in Adobe After Effects and 3D Max or whatever software I would use for this and that. I have some experience playing with that. I drew from all of those things, but in terms of the sausage-making, in terms of going through the process, it was really cool.
Trixter is based in Berlin, and they would send us shots, and I would work on one of those Microsoft Surface Pro computers, and I would Skype in with them and we would play the shots and I would just draw on the shots. There was this really cool software called cineSync that allowed us to play a full resolution version of the shot and I could doodle, literally draw over the shot, making notes and drawing over it in real time. They could see everything I was doing, they could see me, and we could talk through all of it.
I think there’s a couple of things to look at when you’re doing visual effects. Number one, is it creative? Does it look like the design of the creative direction you want? The second thing is the reality; is it real? Oftentimes, when people think things look like CGI, it’s really because of a lack of integration based on… I could talk about this for a very long time (laughs), but it’s oftentimes a lighting problem. It’s not lit in a way that matches the environment. It’s not integrated in the correct way. So you try to look for that, and watch the shot over and over, looking for the things that don’t feel true about the shot. That is my best, simplest possible explanation for the very technical things!
The rest of the interview, which covers a lot of ground about how the movie came together, is at Screen Rant