Upping the Victorian Ante in Game of Shadows
In Paris there are a large variety of shots that are all completely digital environments and digital matte paintings. From a cafe under the Eiffel Tower, to dusk views across the city, to views across the Seine River and then to the bustling heart of Place De L'Opera and the Paris Opera House, a multitude of digital environments and extensions replete with CG crowds give the London-based plates an authentic scale.
Within the Paris Opera House, the stage area was built at Elstree Studios and then the entire auditorium was added as a CG environment. Crowd elements were shot in multiple passes to populate the rows of seats and boxes.
The exploding Hotel De Triomphe was a CG build with live action and CG explosion elements plus a digital environment around it. And the views across Paris from the Opera House rooftop were digital matte paintings based on photos from the real rooftop in Paris.
For the stirring climax with Holmes and Moriarty tumbling over a waterfall, Framestore shot the two actors attached through harnesses to two gigantic KUKA robot arms. They were programmed to nearly puppeteer the actors through space.
"Guy wanted their faces to go right past us as they plunge off into the distance and the abyss below," Jarrett explains. "I really like the whole visual aesthetic of these Holmes films.
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and editor of VFXWorld. He has a new blog, Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com), and is currently writing a book about the evolution of James Bond from Connery to Craig, scheduled for publication next year, which is the 50th anniversary of the franchise.