Thursday, 7 November 2013

My love for Edward.

Im a person who will happily sit and watch any film, disregard the reviews and make my own opinion. So when I sat down to watch Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, I feel bad in saying I already a bit apprehensive. But it was a Saturday night, food had been eaten and Maltesers where in flow so a film was needed!

Now I won’t give too much away about the film, but Hansel and Gretel are the expected brother and sister team, now grown up. Both bounty hunters who hunt witches all over the world. Directed and written by Tommy Wirkola… it was good. Easy understandable story line, characters explained without too much detail, and you could see what the twist was. But I didn’t come here to review the film, I came here to talk about the massive praise for the art department and special effects team I have.

Production Designer Stephen Scott has created what seems to be popular at the moment within action films. Mixing period features and styling along with modern action, mechanics and fashion, you can also see this in Captain America: The First Avenger. The design for Hansel and Gretel reflects its German locations predominately within the forests, cottages and the village where the story is based. The visual depths work really well in expanding the make-believe village, using alley ways, large trees, bushes, which all create the impression that the action doesn’t stop when the camera pans round. I have a lot of love for the decoration for Muriel’s lair (The Head Witch). The design creates the right atmosphere reflecting her aggressive and evil behaviour, with harsh dark colours, textures and also her make-up is pretty awesome!

Make-up - Head Witch Muriel - Famke Janssen

One of my favourite modern day references.

But putting aside set decoration, weaponry, costumes etc. the main event of the creative team is the remarkable work on Edward the troll. If you have seen the film you will know what I mean, if not, just watch it for Edward!! A mixture of animatronics and CGI create the confused troll, well I fell in love with him! The emotions created on his face take him from being an evil monster to someone who cares and wants a friend. The use of animatronics and CGI really prove its worth, Edward has pretty much become a cult hero for the film.

The process behind his creation I cant say I know very well, as this isn’t my background, although something I would love to do one day! From reading up on the process and watching videos, the major feature his face begins as sketches and design concepts that are then passed onto a sculptor. From here the life-sized model can be created, then animatronics build up movement depending on the size, and then CGI comes into adding them few more details. Brief explanation I know, but there’s a pretty awesome image video here that can show you the process and the final outcome…

How awesome is that! Now it is only rumoured about a sequel to Hansel and Gretel, if it has Edward in it, i'm there!

Anybody else got a favourite special effect character from a film?

E xx

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