Reading: ‘Harry Potter and Death Hallows’ on fx guide

Reading: ‘Harry Potter and Death Hallows’ on fx guide

‘Harry Potter and Death Hallows’ is an article written by Failes and published on the website of fx guide. In this article the author describes specifically what different Visual Effects companies were doing for Harry Potter and Death Hallows (Yates: 2010). The following paragraph of this article will summaries the various tasks of each company and discuss the possible points for interview.

Double Negative completed 166 shots, which includes extensions of the Burrows house and surrounding environments, the setting up of the marquee for Bill and Fleur’s wedding, as well as the Patronus, Death Eaters, fire, the magical battle and confetti butterflies. The company also created Diagon Alley set extensions, kitten plates in Professor Umbridge’s ministry office and the Death Eater attack on the Lovegood house and the destruction of the house. Double Negative’s sequence appears to require computer generated building and interior design. If I get a chance to interview the company, I will investigate further to find out if there is particular reason for them to that. Do they have the relevant expertise? What is the expertise? Do they have employees who have an architectural background?

Framestore animated CG character Dobby and created the animation in the three brother’s tale sequence. The article also mentions the visual team adapting techniques from the early animation work of Lotte Reiniger’s hand-cut paper silhouettes and remediated it by software Nuke and Maya. This information is interesting because it shows that this sequence may be useful for talking about remediation. Moreover, the article says the team worked for the three-brother sequence is Framestore’s Commercials team. Does this team have any relevant experience when they were working for commercials?

Rising Sun Company. Their tasks were creating characters such as Death Eaters, Dementors and the locket horcrux. The information provided by this article about Rising Sun’s work is limited. I would like to look further if there is any particular expertise needed for their sequence and why they allocated these sequences to Rising Sun Company.

Baseblack worked on the following shots: the snitch, Hermione’s magic handbag, the cafe wand shoot-out, various spells, the horcrux locket’s underwater attack on Harry, moving pictures in newspapers and photographs, environments and the final scene when Voldemort breaks open Dumbledore’s tomb to steal the Elder Wand. Baseblack, which is a relatively new visual effect company, located in London and have not worked for any previous Harry Potter Films. Why this company got a chance to undertake large numbers of task for this film? It is also interesting to look at the cooperative relationship between Baseblack and MPC, which is also located in London. After Harry Potter and Death Hallows part 1, the two companies also worked together for Harry Potter and Death Hallows part 2 and Sky Fall.

Motion Picture Company. MPC’s three key contributions are six different characters transformed into Harry Potter, the Order of the Phoenix escaping from privet drive and Voldemort’s CG snake Nagini. The transformation scene involves real human character changed to another looking, which is challenging. MPC as a major visual effects company may have some special equipment to fulfill this task. Furthermore, the writer also mentioned that when the team was working on the snake, they abundant the model they made from previous Harry Potter movie and built a new one. Do they have other modes of CG elements in previous Harry Potter film or any other films that they were working for, how they treat these kinds of resources?

Cinesite worked on Voldemort’s snake-like noise. Why Cinesite got this specific task?

Overall the information above provides part of the context for understanding digital compositing in Harry Potter and death Hallows. It is useful for the identification of the connections among where digital compositing takes place in the film, which companies did and the aesthetics of the final composition. In order to identify the connections, more information needs to be gathered. For example, during pre-production period, whether or not the director has an idea about how to allocate the compositing jobs? Do the factors such as the price, expertise and facilities of the targeted compositing company influence on their dissection about where to use digital compositing? Do any factors related to the compositing companies especially where they located impacts their price, facilities and expertise.

The article also mentioned that each Visual Effects companies have a Visual Effects Supervisor works for this film. For example, David Vickery is Visual Effects Supervisor from Double Negative and Framestore team worked under visual effects supervisor Christian Manz. What role does these Visual Effects supervisor play in relating to compositing? Do they have chance to communicate with each other? What is the benefit of the communication between them?


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