Method Tackles the 'Riddick' Mud Demons
"That whole environment as they're riding toward Demon's Peak was all-digital. Gunner had done a lot of set photography at Bryce National Park. They liked those alien-looking sculptures that happen in nature as something they could replicate on this planet. They also wanted an ambient light to illuminate the background with lightning flashes.
"There were a lot of Hoodoo rock formations. They wanted to crunch it and have it look claustrophobic and dark. They couldn't do a normal back plate and work with a LUT. The problem was they were going so extreme with the look that they'd have a hard time balancing all the layers of the rain and the effects. So we ended up coming up with those looks in-house by baking them in.
"Everything was so sepia that I thought if they were going to go with this bronze look, to me the lightning was a perfect opportunity to split tone this environment with cyan. We worked with the compositors to give the lightning frames a graphic quality. We drove part of the DI process with David and Gunner at our studio here. That doesn't happen very often."
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and VFXWorld and the owner of Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com). He's also a columnist for Thompson on Hollywood at Indiewire and contributing editor of Animation Scoop at Indiewire. Desowitz is additionally the author of James Bond Unmasked (www.jamesbondunmasked.com), which chronicles the 50-year evolution of 007 on screen, featuring interviews with all six actors.