‘Ghost in the Shell’, starring Scarlett Johansson and directed by Rupert Sanders, is a live-action adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s cherished Manga serial, which was subsequently realised by Mamoru Oshii as the 1995 anime classic of the same name. Prime Focus World was brought in by Paramount Pictures to deliver the full stereo conversion of the new film.
The story follows Major Mira Killian (Johansson), a cyborg security agent who has grown up with the knowledge that her brain had been taken from a drowned immigrant and implanted into the cyborg body that she inhabits. Glimpses of her former identity keep coming back to her in the form of ‘glitches’, and she becomes haunted by the residual memories of the brain inside the robotic body – the ghost in the shell.
Ritesh Aggarwal was the stereo supervisor for Prime Focus World, working closely with Paramount Pictures VP of 3D Post Production Corey Turner.
“I’ve completed many stereo projects with Corey and every film I have done with him has been an immense learning experience,” said Ritesh. “He ensured that I saw a rough cut of the film early in the process so that we could begin working on the look for the stereo, and his direction was very clear – he wanted characters that were well-sculpted with good detail throughout, and he wanted to expand the depth significantly when the Major went into the dream sequences, to really pull the audience into the action.”
‘Ghost in the Shell’ is in many ways an atypical action film, with a considered shooting style that allows audiences time to really take in shots and appreciate the depth in the 3D version of the movie. The Prime Focus World team worked hard to ensure that the sculpting, animation and VFX augmentation was detailed and clean, with depth well balanced across scenes.
“This film stands apart from others that we have done in the past,” continued Ritesh. “The slower pace of the camera moves means that the depth can really be felt by the audience, who have time to take in all the detail. We also took a non-linear approach to the depth, utilizing ‘log fall-off’ to put more depth into the foreground to midground and less in the midground to background.”
Shot reviews were conducted in the context of sequences to ensure that the depth was consistent across scenes, and balancing convergence and adjusting depth so that scenes played well together was key to the success of the 3D version of the movie.
“One of the key scenes for me was the underwater sequence,” said Ritesh. “Corey was keen to make this sequence deep so that the audience can feel the sense of space. It was challenging because there was so much detail in these shots that had to be animated and positioned in depth. Another challenge was the scene between Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano) and Kuze (Michael Pitt). There is a big hologram of the city between them, and placing depth in the hologram was tough – but the final results look fantastic.”
‘Ghost in the Shell’ releases on March 31, 2017 in the U.S. and U.K.
RELEASE: March 31, 2017 (US & UK)
Director: Rupert Sanders
Studios / Distributors: Paramount Pictures
Stereo Supervisors: Ritesh 'Ricky' Aggarwal, Jimmy Philip
Stereo Producer: Monika Hada
Stereo Production Manager: Annsh Patel, Cassius Vaz
Stereo Line Producer: Reshma Jhangimal
Stereo Editorial Supervisor: Richard Pring
Stereo Technical Director: Isaac Guenard, Charlie Luce, Piyush Jain, Luke Gray
Stereo Executive Producer: Gaurav Jain
Stereo Production Team: Gufran Khan, Franklin Mascarenhas, Savio Cruz, Bakshad Amrolia, Abishek Pathak, Nitin Kumar Bahl, Kate Elum, Kevin D'souza, Wilfred Sequeira, Gauree Patil, Kevin Maliakal, Sachin Garude, Smruti Satnaik, Isha Bhatt, Lohit Shetty, Nishita Shetty, Sakshi Gaur, Sreekanth Boyapati, Mayur Bandrekar, Kamakhya Prasad Sahu, Gaurav Joshi, Mehesh Chander Reddy
Stereo Editorial Team: Debajit Barman, Shenyan Liu, Bryce Gardiner, Steven Roste
Stereo Creative Team: Abishek Warang, Athmi Rai, Binoy Thomas, Dhiraj Sukheja, Dixa Desai, Gourav Gupta, Mahesh Patil, Prasana Sahoo, Puneet Samra, Rahul Wagh, Salil Devji, Sameer Samant, Sanjeev Sable, Shreeraj Gopi, Srikanth Reddy Jakka, Subhadip Malakar, Varion Pereira, Venkatesham Rudra, Vinay Das