A New Clash of the Titans
"We basically had 23 weeks to do 900 very hard visual effects shots," Davis admits about the Greek fantasy involving Perseus (Sam Worthington), son of Zeus (Liam Neeson). "It was a real push because originally it was going to be a summer movie and then it was decided we'd come out in March [and finally April 2], so to lose three months is a big deal. It puts huge amounts of pressures on everybody to start the process so much earlier, which is a difficult thing to do when you're in the heat of battle shooting and trying to craft a movie."
Those 900 vfx shots were divided primarily between the London houses MPC (supervised by Gary Brozenich), Cinesite (supervised by Simon Stanley-Clamp) and Framestore (supervised by Tim Webber).
Davis worked with Aaron Sims on crucial designs of the Harpies, Scorpiochs and the Kraken. The Scorpiochs sequence was handled by Cinesite: "That went through a huge process, not only designing the articulation of the creature, but also the rigging, the size and scale," Davis continues. "And it raised a lot of interesting problems: How much like a scorpion should it look like? And it very much came from the studio that they didn't want Land of the Giants, so we went down this reptilian look where it has an armored shell around itself, but also it was quite lithe and could move quickly. We did a lot of animation studies with it and obviously prevised the sequence [Nvizage]. We found the location in the Canary Islands on Tenerife Park. We wanted to shoot the whole thing on location so it had a real grounded, lit feel to it. We took all of our interactive parts in a four-axis motion base, built by Neil Corbould [the special effects supervisor] and his crew. We used a mixture of pre-animated movements and on the spot, freestyle, control of the rig, and from that we got some great results as one of our characters, Draco [Mads Mikkelsen] leaps onto the back of the Scorpiochs and is flung around in all directions. And then the Scorpiochs wound up getting bigger and bigger and bigger until the final one shows up."