About the film
About Time is the new comedy drama from director and writer Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually), featuring Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams. Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that he has inherited the family ability to time-travel – and that whilst he can’t change history, he can affect the course of his own life. When he meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams), he realizes that he can use his new-found skill to help him in his quest to win her love, to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst of the best-man’s speech, and to get Mary to hospital in time for the birth of their daughter.
But as he lives his unusual life, Tim finds that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that in the end,making the most of life may not need time travel at all.
What we did
We were the sole VFX house working on the movie. Our main VFX sequence was the first meeting of the two main characters, and involved some careful thought and lateral thinking. The scene in question is set in the ‘Dans le Noir’ restaurant in Clerkenwell, London, which offers a unique dining experience – eating and drinking in pitch darkness. This is a difficult experience to recreate on film – especially for a two-minute scene! PFW’s challenge was to develop a look for the sequence that allowed for the narrative development of the movie without showing the characters on screen. The footage had been shot on location in low-light, but being able to see the characters did not make narrative sense.
PFW’s solution was to create a collage of live-action footage from the shot material, and crush it down until only the highlights of certain objects were visible – the edge of a fork, a highlight glint from a wine glass, all floating in the darkness as our characters interact over the table. The footage was edited and enhanced as necessary to create a highly effective solution for the scene.
PFW’s other VFX work included environment shots, sign removals and clean-up, and PFW contributed all 32 VFX shots for the movie from its London facility.
RELEASE: November 8, 2013
Director: Richard Curtis
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Studio / Distributor: Universal Pictures
PFW Supervisor: Jon Thum
PFW Producer: Tim Keene
PFW Scope of Work: VFX, 32 shots -
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PFW Lead Facility: London