Action-movie maestro Michael Bay is back for his fifth outing as the director of the massively popular Transformers film series. The biggest film of the franchise so far, ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ sees Mark Wahlberg reprising therole he played in the previous film, ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’. He’s joined by a returning cast of Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, and Glenn Morshower, with Laura Haddock and Anthony Hopkins joining the franchise.
The story follows three years after the epic Hong Kong battle in ‘Transformers: The Age of Extinction’. With Transformers illegal on Earth and Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) AWOL, the war between Transformers and the TRF (Transformers Reaction Force) is raging. In a last ditch effort to save humanity, inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and Bumblebee join forces with an English Earl (Anthony Hopkins) and Oxford professor (Laura Haddock) to find an all-powerful staff as a way of future-proofing the planet.
Prime Focus World was proud to work with Bay Films and Paramount Pictures to deliver stereo VFX services for ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’, reporting directly to Paramount Executive Stereographer Corey Turner, with whom PFW has previously worked on ‘Noah’ (2014), ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ (2014),‘World War Z’ (2013), ‘Men in Black 3’ (2012) and ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ (2011). Senior Stereo Supervisors Jimmy Philip and Ritesh “Ricky” Aggarwal led the teams on ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ out of Vancouver, with the support of PFW’s Mumbai team.
“We worked on over 2,500 shots,” said Ritesh Aggarwal, talking about the complexity of blending the native stereo shots with visual effects composites. “Michael Bay shot a lot of footage in native stereo. In fact, he did not just shoot drama scenes but also for VFX, he shot a lot of explosions live; due to which we were able to get really fine details with the smoke and particles.”
“Consequently, comping in CG robots or more VFX elements into native plates posed challenges in a lot of places; in stereo, we had to ensure enough depth for them to interact with all the practical stuff that was shot.We had to augment a lot of VFX/CGI shots to match them with the natively-shot stereo footage,” continued Ritesh.
The team also spent a great deal of time ensuring that the converted shots sat seamlessly between the native shots in the same sequence. Jimmy Philip explains, “We had to make sure that we incorporated the characteristics of one eye into the other eye. It was tricky because the moment there was any sort of clean up on one eye it was very difficult to simulate similar depth in the other eye, as it led to inverted interaction in both eyes.”
Prime Focus World delivered a variety of work that supported the overall stereo look of the film, including a particularly effective scene towards the climax where we see the lead characters falling out of a spaceship. The team spent a great deal of time creating high detail in stereo, with in-your-face effects and a lot of negative-positive depth; to the extent that it was difficult to make out the difference between Michael Bay's native shots with heavy CG and stereo team’s completely converted shots.
“There are some really cool sequences in the film, there are some epic battles and mind-boggling action sequences,” concluded Ritesh. “Of all the ‘Transformers’ we've worked on, this one's been the most fun. Not only because I'm a ‘Transformers’ fan but also because we were able to achieve a lot more with ‘The Last Knight’ as compared to prequels and we’ve also learnt a lot from it.”
The film premiered at Odeon Leicester Square in London on June 18, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 21, 2017, by Paramount Pictures in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D. The film eventually grossed over $605 million worldwide, making it the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2017.
RELEASE: June 23, 2017 (US & UK)
Director: Michael Bay
Studios / Distributors: Paramount Pictures
Global Head of Production: Rohan Desai
Senior Stereo Supervisors: Ritesh Aggarwal, Jimmy Philip
Stereo Production Manager: Cassius Vaz
Stereo Head of Editorial: Richard Pring
Stereo Technical Director: Charlie Luce
Stereo Production Team: Kate Elum, Stephanie Chan, Franklin Mascarenhas
Stereo Leads: Kat Kelly, Nishant Narang, Rio Harrington, Matthew Lutes
Stereo Executive: Gaurav Jain
Stereo Show Supervisor: Dhiraj Sukheja
Stereo Production Manager: Gufran Khan
Stereo Creative Supervisors: Jason Bowers, Puneet Samra, Rohan Tirkey, Sameer Samant, Srikanth Reddy, Tushar Rajput, Varion Pereira, Avdesh Shukla
Stereo Production Team: Akash Mangavkar, Gauree Patil, Nitin Bahl, Abhishek Pathak, Vinay Gautam, Savio Nelson Cruz