Bill and Ted Face the Music is the improbably triumphant return of the franchise that started over 30 years ago with 1989’s Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Navigating a successful comeback was always going to be a challenge, but during post production, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, making things vastly more complicated. VFX Producer Nancy St John spoke to VFX Online about how it all came together in the end.
From the interview:
“Once we moved into Post-Production and Dean (Parisot, director) was willing to hand over his cut of the movie, our task was to evaluate how to achieve the VFX as envisioned within a very tight budget. A lab was chosen and a vfx editor was hired. Packages were sent out for bidding and before long a small team of companies were selected to create the 459 shots. BUF Montreal was contracted to complete 119 shots and another Montreal based company MELS Studios was contracted for 168 shots. The remaining 172 shots were created by LA California based Shade VFX.
“Key to accomplishing Dean’s vision was to secure VFX Supervisor Bill George from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) to complete all the designs and conceptual paintings. Dean and Bill had developed an incredible creative shorthand during Galaxy Quest and their partnership on Bill and Ted was electric. Under Bill’s direction the VFX companies were able to achieve Dean’s vision and more. It was so exciting to see their collective efforts result in producing VFX that, as Dean said, ‘moved the story along’ and created ‘a time capsule for the audience to cheer on Bill and Ted’.
“The software I’d like to highlight is the software we used to finish the movie remotely during the pandemic lock down. There were 3 very important programs we used daily – cineSync & Frankie – https://cospective.com – and Zoom. cineSync and Frankie allow you to review shots with participants from around the world at any time. Without these tools we could not have finished the movie.
“Of course the world is now aware of zoom and its ability to bring groups of people together and it was essential for us to group together to review shots many times a day.”
The rest of the article, which details much of the work that went into creating the film, is at VFX Online