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Look! Creates Wartime Effects For Pavilion Of Women

Los Angeles-based Look! Effects recently finished 30 visual effects shots for the upcoming Universal Pictures release THE PAVILION OF WOMEN. Based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck, the movie is about a frustrated woman in a traditional Chinese marriage and the American missionary who tries to help her achieve personal liberation. The drama stars Willem Dafoe and Chinese actress Luo Yan, who is also the writer, producer and director of the picture. Look! Effects had to create a sequence depicting Japan's invasion of China in the early days of World War II. The 3D department created a series of historically accurate Japanese warplanes. "Some shots included radical tilts or pans and each of the planes had to be tracked individually to match," explained Look! Effects visual effects supervisor Henrik Fett. "Other shots occurred over water and so we had to create reflections of the planes, which also had to be tracked to the camera movement," added Max Ivins, Look! Effects visual effects supervisor. Look! also created a camera pull back, that begins at ground level and rises to a height more than a mile in the sky. The beginning portion of the shot, a view of a Chinese village, was shot practically using a camera crane, but the crane reached only 40 feet into the air. Look! artists then produced a series of digital matte paintings depicting the scene from successively higher vantage points, which they edited together, generating an artificial pull back. "The subtleties go a long way in selling the effect," Ivins said. "Most audience members will assume it was shot practically."

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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