Meet Charlie Mortdecai, a debonair art dealer and part-time rogue who must traverse the globe, armed only with his good looks and charm, in a race to recover a stolen painting rumoured to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.

Based on the series of books by Kyril Bonfiglioli, which were first published in the 70’s, Mortdecai is brought to the big screen by director David Koepp (Premium Rush, Ghost Town) and writer Eric Aronson, and stars Jonny Depp in the title role, supported by Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany and Olivia Munn.

Prime Focus World is pleased to have provided visual effects for Mortdecai, delivering 105 VFX shots for the movie. And according to PFW VFX Supervisor Marshal Krasser, working on Mortdecai was a lot of fun.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to use visual effects to set up a gag or a comedy moment,” said Marshal. “This was a bit different to many visual effects movies, where the storyline is more serious. The work we delivered needed to be seamless, but there is still the opportunity to have a lot of fun with it.”

“There was a lot of invisible VFX work that the audiences won’t recognize as visual effects,” continued Marshal. “If the audience doesn’t recognize that they’ve seen a visual effect, that’s a good indication that we’ve done our job well. These effects can be the most enjoyable, but can also be the most difficult to execute perfectly. ”

The VFX team at Prime Focus World had an opportunity to work on a wide variety of shots for this film, including recreating Red Square for a number of background shots with Johnny Depp, augmenting environments and explosions, compositing, sign replacements, and setting the locations and/or mood for certain shots.

In one particular shot, Mortdecai is being interrogated in a hotel room, and ends up falling through a window. This was an interesting shot, because it involved a mix of different types of work, reconstruction, green screen compositing, and the creation of the broken glass as it shatters and falls.

Also look out for the scene involving one of the characters leaning out of a car window vomiting. A fair amount of effort went into ensuing that the computer-generated vomit looked as real as possible.

Mortdecai is scheduled for theatrical release on January 23, 2015 in the U.S. and the UK.



RELEASE: Jan 23, 2015

Director: David Koepp
Studios / Distributors: Lionsgate

VFX Supervisor: Marshall Krasser
VFX Producer: Mark Van Ee
Head of Production (Vancouver): Rohan Desai

VFX Creative Director: Merzin Tavaria
VFX Executive Producer (India): Stephen Mascarenhas
VFX Production Head: Shome Dasgupta