Darren Aronofsky’s latest creative feat is an epic interpretation of the story of Noah, inspired by the Biblical tale. The film stars Academy Award winners Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins. Produced by Paramount Pictures, Aronofsky presents a dramatic re-interpretation of the classic tale in which Noah is instructed by God to save his family and the animals of the Earth from a cataclysmic flood by building his famous ark.
Prime Focus World provided stereo conversion services on the film, working directly with Paramount Executive Stereographer Corey Turner to deliver 1,400 shots in stereo amounting to about 81 minutes of the 3D film.
Noah is played by Russell Crowe, who begins suffering visions of a divine flood that will wipe violence and evil from the face of the earth. Noah is chosen to build an ark to help his family and animals of every kind survive the deadly deluge. However, Noah runs into resistance from his fellow men, who reject Noah’s message of condemnation. The conflict leads to an epic climax when the rain starts to pour.
When it comes to converting VFX-heavy films, Corey Turner knew he was in good hands with Prime Focus World, having teamed up with them previously on Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), Men in Black 3 (2012) and World War Z (2013). The team delivered several stereo sequences involving rain for World War Z, but the deluge in Noah was on a whole different scale.
“The rain was a huge challenge,” explained Prime Focus World View-D™ Producer Chad Cortvriendt. “Typically with stereo conversion, if the rain is shot in the 2D environment it will play flat unless you literally roto every single raindrop, which is obviously unfeasible. In order to get the rain to play in depth, we created our own visual effects rain and comped it in stereo.”
“We were able to take what we had learnt on previous shows regarding rain integration and utilize this by creating a new and improved stereo rain rig. It’s very impressive,” said PFW Senior Stereo Supervisor Ben Murray.
While the Vancouver team conquered the challenging rain sequences, the PFW stereo team in Mumbai, led by Stereo Supervisor Jimmy Philip focused on converting the remaining 1,130 shots with gusto. Among the impressive results delivered by the Mumbai team are texture and depth given to the wood of the ark’s interiors, and the attention paid to the careful sculpting of the faces of the characters.
The results of PFW’s conversion were well received by both Corey Turner and director Darren Aronofsky. “Everyone did an amazing job on this movie in a tight timeframe,” said Ben Murray. “I’m very proud of the team here at Prime Focus World, in India, and Vancouver, for what we were able to accomplish.”
“Working on Noah has been a great experience for us,” said Namit Malhotra, Founder and CEO of Prime Focus World. “We were very happy to receive the opportunity from Paramount, having worked with Corey Turner on previous films such as World War Z and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Darren Aronofsky has created a work of art and the film has allowed our artists to show the tremendous detail we put into our work. As with every film, we like to raise the bar and Noah is no exception.”
RELEASE: March 28, 2014
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Producers: Scott Franklin, Arnon Milchan, Mary Parent, Darren Aronofsky
Studio / Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Senior Stereo Supervisor: Ben Murray
Head of Production: Rohan Desai
ViewD™ Producer: Chad Cortvriendt
Associate Stereo Supervisors: Ritesh “Ricky” Aggarwal, James Rees, Brian Lee
Production Manager: Cassius Vaz
Lead Artists: Jason Dourgarian, Matt Lutes, Rio Harrington
Coordinators: Andrea Kistler, Jason Pauls, Jessica Carrington
Technical Directors: Catherine Bree, Charlie Luce, Isaac Guenard
Editorial Team: Katrina Taylor, Lewis “Sonny” Menga, Ryan Loates
Creative Director: Merzin Tavaria
Senior Stereographer: Jimmy Philip
SVP, View-D™: Stephen Mascarenhas
Head of Production: Franklin Mascarenhas
Production Manager: Ravi Shetty
Technical Supervisor: Parminder Chadda
Pipeline Technical Director: Piyush Jain
Stereographers: Ankit Jobanputra, Bhavya Dixit, Sameer Samant, Varion Pereira
Lead Artists: Abhishek Warang, Rahil Wagh, Vinod Kumar Vaishya, Athmi Rai, Rajesh Darpe, Vinod A. Gundre, Deepak Dalal, Rishiraj Dilip Pawar, M. Ramakrishna, Synn Ramesh Chawla, Nemi Sharan, Vinay Das