Going Down the Rabbit Hole with Ken Ralston
BD: And did you use the Arnold renderer?
KR: Yes, we did. As terrifying as that was at the start, we created a lot of breakthroughs with that and I'm very happy with [the results]. As difficult as some of the issues were with rendering times and image quality because of the immense size of some of the shots we did, I love lighting with it. I really enjoyed it much more than anything else I used. It's much more intuitive in a weird way. And right out of the box, you could get something that looked a little bit more organic, which was key to this film.
BD: The execution scene is pretty complicated. How did that come together?
KR: Well, it's sort of what the whole movie looked like at one point. We shot our principals: Helena, Johnny, Crispin [Glover]. And green everywhere, and no extras. All we had were a couple of stand-in people in green to let you know where they would be. We had voice talent in green up on the podium basically they're up on the balcony with the Red Queen. They're the group that's always following her around, but we hadn't quite figured out who they were or what they looked like yet. Our voice talent did the dialogue, and, of course, we're doing the CG environment that's surrounding everybody, as we're trying to find ways to blend stuff in a nice way. The CG animals were all going to be animated in here. Late in the game, Tim came up with the idea that we needed to sprinkle in more of our animals in here because they're really the ones who've been enslaved and they really want to come forward when the Red Queen's getting hers. It added a lot to the moment.