Open discussion about ILM and the magic they create. Also VFX and movies in general. Anyone can post topics here.

Moderator: malducin

Went to see DOWNSIZING today. Had to drive to another theater to catch THE SHAPE OF WATER, and I still have an hour to kill before it starts, so I'm gulping down a few martinis (shaken, not stirred) in the casino.

But I really did enjoy DOWNSIZING. It was an amusing and ambitious satire, and the environmental fx work was so good that I wished the film was less Oscar-baity (which, BTW, is a fail, according to RT) and more summer blockbuster spectacle. Not sure who did what, as ILM, RodeoFX, and Framestore were the major players. What I mainly wondered, however, is if a key actress really was an amputee or if she was merely the victim of movie magic.

Anyway, I'd like to talk more about a movie, but I'm typing on my phone with an obnoxious spelling corrector, so that would be a pain in the see it! I'd love to read your views on it!

Also watched SHARKNADO 5 today...but that is a topic for another time...
Watched Kingsman: The Golden Circle the other night. Matthew Vaughn can sure direct some insane fight scenes and car chases where he uses minimal CGI to enhance things, but... *looks around for the potential mob* ... the guy needs to stay away from full CG shots. Kick-Ass, Kingsman 1 & 2, even X-Men: First Class had some questionable shots where they were entirely CG (or mostly CG). Big establishing CG flyovers of a jungle or a city street or a stadium. There's just a certain look to them that I have yet to figure out if it's a deliberate stylistic choice to make them look slightly fake, or if it's just B- VFX work.

With that said, however, the VFX work on Charlie's mechanical arm, the Beauty Bot (futuristic waitress robot) and Bennie & Jet the robot dogs...WOW. Wow, wow, wow. Shane's mentioned hard-surface work recently like Image Engine's stuff with Blomkamp, DNeg and Dunkirk (and obviously ILM and Transformers), but this movie showed what SPI could do under the right circumstances. The Beauty Bot had a sleek, futuristic, plastic sheen to it but still looked tangible, while the mechanical arm and robot dogs had the more gun-metal industrial design and looked amazingly real. Great stuff, SPI!
Yeah, and what's nice is that the VFX get a good chunk of focus on the Blu-Ray bonus features. Over two hours worth of stuff (a 1 hour 57 multi-part making-of, plus a separate 12 minute featurette on the taxi cab chase) that run the gamut of topics. For any BTS whores out there like me, it's a must-watch.

Back to SPI, I think there's only been one other movie where mechanical-type effects from SPI got a thumbs-up from me, and that was G-Force (the talking hamster spy movie). :lol:

EDIT: Actually, their mech-Rhino suit for Amazing Spider-Man 2 was solid, too.
So...ILM is working on The Irishman. Apparently, they are going to de-age DeNiro. Okay, that's the gauntlet. That's the gauntlet's gauntlet.

If they can pull this off, they can do anything else. BUT...I am not convinced it can be. After Rogue One, I am very ambivalent about that approach(CG) being the pathway. They would have to improve on that substantially to pull it off. I still like LOLA's methodology more. I think it is more successful to this point in what it is tasked to pull off. But perhaps there are limitations in that approach that ILM dislikes? Perhaps they are moving away from a CG approach and towards the LOLA one? I am curious to follow this project because it's ILM and DeNiro and, as if that weren't enough, Scorsese. Holy cow, what a trifecta!
So they are going with a completely 3D version of a younger De Niro and the other actors? I could understand it, because now De Niro is way too different(physically) than he was in his 30s and 40s. Maybe the LOLA method would have never worked in this case.
I don't know. I'm just using the example of what they did in Rogue One. Yeah the LOLA method might not work because they are using footage as the baseline and then de-aging the DeNiro. I mentioned the limitations to the LOLA method above because of that and the physique differences over time like you mentioned. I just like LOLA's work with that approach more than the CG humans done to this point. That could always change however. Maybe this will be that film to change my mind?
The budget ($100 mil, I think) for this Netflix movie would suggest cutting edge...unless $70 mil is going to Joe Pesci for being pulled out of retirement.

And did anyone know that Tim Harrington is the animation supe for ALADDIN? Who is the fx supe?
The budget ($100 mil, I think) for this Netflix movie would suggest cutting edge...unless $70 mil is going to Joe Pesci for being pulled out of retirement.
That might not be much off the mark. You put DeNiro, Pesci, and Pacino in the same movie and it might have some hefty salaries. Not $70 million but a substantial sum. That said, I fully expect this movie to improve on previous de-aging techniques. It is an absolute must.
ILM worked on Monsters and Men, the feature film debut for Reinaldo Marcus Green. This was a small indie flick that was just picked at Sundance by Neon for distribution in North America.
The film is about a man who witnesses a police shooting of a black man that inspires a black police officer and an athlete to take a stand.

Hopefully, ILM aggressively moves into the indy market as vfx are being done for a variety of smaller films(like Mudbound, etc). I know spectacles and big tentpoles is a part of their heritage but indies should become a staple as well(as well as providing more variety for artists). I hope this is the start of a growing trend.
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