Mary Poppins Returns

...with help from VFX vendors all around the world!



Mary Poppins Returns, which is set many years after the original film, represented a massive challenge for all involved. It wasn’t just the issue of recreating the magic of a beloved family classic, it was about updating the tale to resonate with modern audiences, while not destroying the elements that made the first film so special.

Visually, a lot of that work was in the hands of the VFX team, led by VFX Supervisor Matt Johnson (1207 VFX shots!). He sat down with Art of VFX to talk about how it all came together. From the interview:


How did you get involved in MARY POPPINS RETURNS?

I was asked by Rob very early on if I wanted to do it. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.


What was your feeling to be part of this iconic film?

It was tricky, as MARY POPPINS is such an iconic film, and part of so many people’s childhoods. I was very aware that I couldn’t screw it up!


How was this new collaboration with director Rob Marshall?

It was great. Rob has such a great eye. It’s interesting as you have to make so much more happen in real time on set, much like a broadway show. He is also very focused on movement and performance, so often real actors and dancers are used rather than digi-doubles.



How did you split the work amongst these vendors?

Framestore was responsible for the underwater, animation, Big Ben, and balloons over London sequences.

Cinesite handled much of London, including Cherry Tree Lane, the Bank, and Trip a Little Light Fantastic.

Luma Pictures was responsible for the Topsy sequence.


Can you tell us more about your collaboration with their VFX supervisors?

I work very closely with the vendors from all the companies, often with daily cineSyncs. Christian Kaestner from Framestore Montréal, Kyle McCulloch from Framestore London, and Christian Irles from Cinesite Montréal were a huge part of making the success of the movie. Christian and Christian often visited me on set to help out whilst we were shooting.


The vendors are all around the world. How did you proceed to follow their work?

Skype, cineSync, and visits to the facilities as required.


The rest of the article can be found at Art of VFX