Everyone knows the story of J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’, but do you know how it all started?
Enter ‘Pan’, director Joe Wright’s Peter Pan origin story, which takes us back to the London orphanage where Peter has been abandoned and follows him as he is whisked away to the fantastical world of Neverland. Adventure awaits as Peter (Levi Miller) meets new friend James Hook (Garrett Hedlund) and warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara), who must band together to save Neverland from the ruthless pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman).
Prime Focus World (PFW) was called in by Warner Bros. to deliver stereo conversion services for almost 20 minutes of the movie, working closely with studio stereoscopic supervisor Chris Parks, with whom Prime Focus World has previously collaborated on films such as ‘Gravity’ and ‘Edge of Tomorrow’.
“Chris was very clear in his brief for ‘Pan’,” said PFW senior stereo supervisor Ben Murray. “He was looking for logarithmic compression, with most of the depth in the foreground, then compressing logarithmically as we go deeper into the scene. The result was a roughly 60/40 split, with 60% of the depth budget in the foreground to mid-ground and the other 40% in the mid-ground to background.”
PFW used head geometry for all of the main character close-ups and the main mid-shots, to ensure accurate and consistent sculpting of characters’ heads, and the team worked hard to ensure that the high levels of detail demanded by Chris and the production were met and exceeded.
“Most of our work on Pan was for the VFX-heavy battle sequence in the crystal void, between Hook and Blackbeard,” continued Ben. “We had some great 3D moments, which I know the director Joe Wright was particularly keen to include – for example, when the pirates jump off the ships and fly out 100 pixels negative into the audience with their arms waving – those are great moments!”
In addition to the battle scene, PFW delivered sequences throughout the film including the amazing jungle scenes.
“The jungle scenes were really complicated,” said Ben. “Due to the nature of the shots, and the layers of foliage and spears and feathers and characters dancing around in the foreground this sequence required an amazing amount of paint work. On a normal show we might have three to four layers of paint on a shot. On these shots we were up to eight, nine, even ten layers of paint.”
PFW called in their teams in Mumbai and Goa to deliver the huge paint requirement for the show, and completed the stereo conversion work in its facilities in Chandigarh and Mumbai. The PFW Vancouver facility provided production and editorial support.
“This was probably the most challenging show I have worked on in terms of the sheer amount of paint required and the layers of VFX elements we were working with,” concluded Ben, “but the results are fantastic. The movie looks amazing, and the 3D adds another layer of immersion and fun for the audience.”
‘Pan’ is released on Friday 9 October 2015 in the US and October 16 in the UK.