Arming Percy Jackson with Mythological VFX
"Chris has an instinct for what kids like because he always seems to be aiming that way, and the action and effects have more of an edgy slant, which makes them feel like they're seeing something above them," the overall visual effects supervisor suggests. "There is also something about it that reminded me of reading your first adventure book as a kid."
Indeed, a movie inhabited by Zeus (Sean Bean), Poseidon (Kevin McKidd), Hades (Steve Coogan), Athena (Melina Kanakaredes), Medusa (Uma Thurman), a Minotaur and Hydra -- for starters -- is rich with visual possibilities and vfx challenges.
"Digital Domain really stepped up with their water and it was a great opportunity to do some creature work," Mack adds. "I was real happy with what MPC did with Hades and Luma just did fantastic work with Medusa. Uma was great to work with: she had so many ideas for how to act and behave in a way that would tie her in to the big snakes on her head. She gave herself a weight to her head movements and she would relate to the snakes and look at them, even though they're not there. It gave us a lot of cool stuff to back into in terms of the snakes interacted with her. And she had this whole notion of her relationship with them: that they were her only friends because everybody else got turned to stone.
"Pixomondo did a handful of shots but they were big ones: the Hades Underworld exterior where the boat comes out of the Hollywood sign with the city in ruins. It's a combination of 3D and 2D. In the end, it kept changing and I wound up doing a drawing on one of those dry erase boards that we did the schedules on and in about five minutes I did the city in ruins with big chasms and stuff floating in the air, and Chris really liked that. From there, they did more illustrations based on that drawing and we developed it at Pixomondo, which did previs early on and projected paintings onto the stuff."