The new cinematic take on Stephen King’s It has been a bonafide worldwide sensation – one of the highest grossing horror films of all time. While many of the films spectacular effects were created practically, the VFX shot count still expanded to over 600, in order to fully convey the horror of Pennywise.
Recently Art of VFX sat down with Production VFX Producer Kendrick Wallace to discuss how the work was shared out, and how the review and approval pipeline was managed.
From the article:
How was the collaboration with director Andy Muschietti?
Andy is very creative, but also very collaborative. He is always willing to listen to ideas from anyone on his team. Of course he ultimately makes the decisions, but he is also always willing to take creative input and alter course if he thinks someone has a good idea.
What was his approach and expectations about the visual effects?
Andy likes to base the VFX on something real. We always tried to have something in-camera, even if we had to replace it later. This wasn’t a huge show so Andy was also very willing to take some chances on smaller boutique companies. That said, Andy has a great eye and expected top level work. He’s definitely a director who can articulate what he wants.
How did you organize the work with VFX Supervisor Nick Brooks?
The plan was always for Nick to be on for the shoot and director’s cut. Nick set the course and then there was supposed to be a hand-off to the main VFX facility supervisor. At that time Rodeo FX was slated to do most of the show. But our shot count ballooned from 200 to over 600 shots, and Rodeo only had about 100 of the hard core creature and environment work. Luckily I’ve done a fair amount of supervision in the past, so I was able to oversee the remaining vendor work after Nick left.
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with their VFX supervisors?
For the most part only Rodeo had a supervisor on set with us, and that was only for the most difficult sequence at the end of the movie. In post we would review work, give notes, etc. by cineSync and Skype. Andy was usually in the meetings, so they were getting the notes right from the top whenever possible.
The vendors are all around the world. How did you proceed to follow their work?
It actually works out great because we can schedule meetings throughout the day. We usually could have several reviews a day at a time that was pretty convenient to everyone. I won’t lie though — we did keep the London and Spain vendors up late now and then. Luckily the group in Spain were night owls – they told us we could call them anytime before 4am!
The rest of the article is available at Art of VFX