Carsoux Talks Micmacs
It's a mashup of Tex Avery, Toy Story and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. What do you expect from the one-time puppet animator? Micmacs even offers an Avery clip for good measure, which is fitting since the French director once wrote a book about the animation legend (who unfortunately died a week before receiving his copy).
Once again Duran Duboi was entrusted with the visual effects, which were supervised by Alain Carsoux (A Very Long Engagement, Amelie). Carsoux discusses the challenges of Micmacs.
Alain Carsoux: To the contrary of films that are visual effects intensive, Jean-Pierre touches up shots instead of really designing them for visual effects. So it's a global amount. The visual effects go through the whole film and enhance the shot.
So when reading the script it wasn't really apparent that there were a lot of visual effects in there. As shooting begins, Jean-Pierre is very specific about the visual side, and likes to add certain things to shots. Then we become involved with the visual effects.
The two bad guys facing each other wasn't planned; he wanted it exactly that way so it became a very involved visual effect.
BD: What was involved?
AC: That was a 3D matte painting of the whole boulevard where one bad guy sits in his office and sees in the other side of the street that he is right in front of the other bad guy's office. So that was very tricky to do. We tracked it on matchmoving.
AC: Maya for 3D and our in-house compositing software, Dutruc.
BD: Tell us about the opening mine explosion in the desert followed by the stray bullet lodged in Bazil's brain.
AC: For the explosion there were two plates: one in Morocco with the guy and then one in Paris just for the explosion and we matched it. The bullet in the brain was done by the special effects team and we just enhanced it with compositing.
BD: What other noteworthy enhancements?
AC: When we're in the desert at the end with the crane shot and we see Paris in the background. The foreground is shot in Morocco and Paris behind was another matte painting.