VES London screen Lenny Abrahamson’s Room

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VES London screen Lenny Abrahamson’s Room

We always look forward to the film screenings hosted by VES and their most recent screening was no exception. Usually we’re treated to a film featuring an abundance of awe-inspiring VFX. However, last week we celebrated the art of invisible visual effects with a screening of recent Oscar-nominated feature Room.

At the Academy Awards this year, Room was nominated for a few awards: Best Film, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. In an exclusive video recorded for the VES screening, director Lenny Abrahamson shared how overwhelmed he was with the response to his film - and although Room wasn’t recognised at the Oscars for its achievements in VFX, the team are pleased that their work had done its job and gone unnoticed.

Responsible for heading up the VFX for Room was Ed Bruce, VFX Supervisor at Screen Scene. Also via pre-recorded video, Ed shared with us some insight into the making of Room. The main effects for this film were sky replacements, weather elements, comp and clean-up (a big requirement when working with a young actor like Jacob Tremblay) and the effect of a person’s breath in a cold environment.

For Abrahamson, working with a child actor required the back-up of visual effects to make the most of precious moments where the performance was nailed. The pressure was then placed on the VFX team to make that shot work. And when it came to creating the cold breath effect, cooling down the set to freezing wasn’t really an option when working with someone so young. So Bruce and his team at Screen Scene borrowed the 3D breath system tested on Game of Thrones. A system that can match the phonetics of the mouth shapes, reacting to a shout or a whisper. And as no one has yet questioned the reality of that effect - they consider it a success.

It wouldn’t be an exclusive VES screening without the addition of a short film screening to kick off the proceedings. In honour of the late Alan Rickman we were treated to a screening of Dust - written and directed by Ben Ockrent & Jake Russell. Crowd funded (largely by Alan Rickman fans “Rick Mania”), this short film project relied massively on favours. Luke Tickner (who shared insight into the making of the film) managed most of the post production services at The Mill - specifically the VFX. Quite early on in the project’s development Alan Rickman expressed how he didn’t want the same wings as his character in Dogma. He was pleased to learn that the plan was to produce CG wings, and so they started the long process of look development for the wings; fairy or angel wings, shiny or more textured, etc, etc.

Having won Vimeo’s Staff Pick - you can take a look at this awesome short film and see the results of their work for yourself.