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Motion Control and Visual Effects

A note from David Bush a VFX supervisor... 

With Mike, I have worked on many different projects over what seems like a vast amount of time. Thinking back, perhaps it was after having worked on some of the Mulino Bianco Commercials in Italy that our desire to raise the benchmark in visual effects for films too matured.

I had spoken to the Venice Film Festival's Art director Gillo Pontecorvo round about then. He agreed that most Italian film directors had little knowledge of what could be done using digital technologies, so he suggested we take over the beautiful Salone degli Specchi of the Excelsior Hotel in Venice during the Venice Film Festival and spend time explaining to many of them that there was a whole lot more to cgi than making dinosaurs like those in Jurassic Park; digital visual effects and cgi could mean saving money and offering spectacular virtual sets too.

 

As soon as I explained the possibility that Gillo had offered to us, Mike enthusiastically agreed to bring his motion control systems to Venice so that we could show directors what could be done shooting and post producing with real equipment there and then.

 

Making of Toshiba

Making of Toshiba

Well, the ten days of continuous demonstrations were a success, and we didn't have to wait for long before a major film project would ask us for our services. The first Italian director to understand the potential and to want to use digital techniques was Giuseppe Tornatore.

 

He explained to me that he wanted to make his upcoming film "The Legend of the Pianist" look like a film produced with a rich budget, yet he didn't have loads of money. So, I asked him to explain what he wanted. I worked at discussing story boards with him, and discussed with Mike how we could make these visual effects and virtual sets.