Gamer: A New Kind of Mind-Control Mayhem
Check out clips and the trailer from Gamer at AWNtv!
Gamer (from Lionsgate) offers a different kind of futuristic take: humans control other humans in multi-player online gaming environments. But star player Gerard Butler (300) strives to regain his independence by striking back. Gamer contains about 1,000 vfx shots divided among such vendors as yU+co (568 shots), LookFX (381 shots), Furious FX (209 shots), Therapy (120 shots), Sub/Par (the in-house staff, which did 107 shots), Duran Duboi (61 shots), Celluloid (24 shots), Gradient (four shots) and Luma (four shots). Visual Effects Supervisor and Exec Producer James McQuaide (Underworld) shares the secrets behind Gamer and what it was like working with the directing team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank).
Bill Desowitz: What were the most difficult challenges in Gamer?
James McQuaide: The graphics. There are a bunch of 3D helicopters and tracer rounds and even some CG people running around, all of which is a lot easier to do at this point than getting graphics that tell story and place. We were trying to take Albuquerque and do a futuristic world -- not like Blade Runner, which is unique. But there's not a lot there so to kind of dress that up took a lot of trial and error. The actual execution is not particularly hard but you're trying billboard after billboard and commercial after commercial to get the essence of this world and this game.
And because there were a lot of narrative elements that needed to be explained: how the game works, to emphasize that if you survive 30 battles you get set free. These are fundamental narrative points that maybe weren't in the principal photography but it was important to understand this to understand the movie. Graphics had to step in and make that stuff work and make it kind of sexy. It's about a videogame, so that interface had to feel real and be fun to look at.
BD: And most of that was done by yU+co, which contributed 528 shots?
JM: Yes, they've done title sequences for me for years, but they were very excited to expand that approach and sprinkle it throughout a movie. They really did a great job of helping us figure that stuff out.
BD: What was the big reference point for the look?