Although there are four shots in the finished film that make use of cel animation to achieve ghosts and ghost effects, the bulk of the material was shot using other techniques including miniatures in the tank and full-scale puppets and actors. Special optical techniques were developed to combine the ghosts with live action footage giving a transparent “look” that would not look like a simple double exposure or “burn-in.”
Also pictured here: Alan Maley with his matte painting seen behind the jeep that drove off the cliff during the truck chase, building the three heads destroyed in the final Ark sequence, and the actual China Clipper filmed, with the corresponding matte painting that made it look like it could really take off!
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Dark Majesty: Dean Semler, ASC, ACS, enters the realm of an evil icon with Maleficent. in American Cinematographer
[Dean] Semler found [director Robert] Stromberg meticulously prepared for the complexities of combining the live-action photography with extensive visual effects, the latter of which were supervised by Carey Villegas. “The moment I walked into Rob’s ‘War Room,’ there was the whole movie covering the office walls in 36-by-18-inch prints of conceptual drawings and storyboards,” he recalls. “I was thrilled — the clarity of Rob’s vision made it easy for everyone, especially me!
“The depiction of light was exciting,” Semler continues, “the way the huge castle windows were single-light sources, how the walls receded into moody shadows, the importance of fire and candlelight, how the exterior sets could be brought to life with backlight. When I timed the film many months later with Yvan Lucas at EFilm, those images on the office wall were alive on the screen.”
And you can read more about the VFX of Maleficent in Joe Fordham’s article in the new Cinefex issue 138, out now.
We interview sound designer Mark Mangini about his career, including his early work on Raiders of the Lost Ark, and chat with film/TV editor Brian Newell about Dragonslayer, and the invention of Go-Motion.
This is continuing coverage of Cinefex 6 — see episode 006A for even more Raiders and Dragonslayer goodness!
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Many people mistake that certain piece of wood for a door. Some people know it’s not a door, but don’t know what it actually is. This should clear things up.
A++++ to the art department’s researchers on this one because I don’t want to believe that to be a fluke.
I’d guess it would be someone working under Production Designer Peter Lamont. Anyone know?