Double Negative Captures Lonely London for Bridget Jones Sequel
It was determined in previs that Double Negative would need to film as many couples as possible to populate the windows and bring the cityscape to life. The camera in the shot travels at up to 30mph over the rooftops and covers five city blocks. In order to film the elements in a studio, each couple would need to be shot separately, against bluescreen, with a cheated motion control camera move. The cheat ensured that, though each move was different, the perspective in each of these varied camera moves was true to the final shot, ensuring each element would sit seamlessly into the digital landscape. The pre-programming of each move allowed for a very streamlined shoot and Double Negative shot 40 motion control set-ups and as many locked off set ups in seven days.
Final adjustments were made to the layout of the city and final modeling and texture work commenced. Double Negatives matte paint & texture artists then set about ensuring that every building in the shot was unique; introducing different brick types, cornicing and weathering to each building.
Once the buildings were complete, Double Negative set about the mammoth task of lighting and rendering the shot. Once initial lighting passes were done Double Negative added in layers of fog, and depth to give scale to the shot. The team at Double Negative used the latest Open EXR operating system, which facilitates the most faithful reproduction of a film image on a computer screen. Moving objects were added to help bring the shot to life; including buses and headlights moving in the distance and CG cars.
As a final polish, puddles were added to roofs, broken gutters, chimneys, ugly TV aerials, moss and rubbish were all dressed in to give the whole shot a grimy magnificence. Hope offered, We didnt want the shot to appear too perfect. Living in London was our inspiration as any Londoner will know, very occasionally its possible to look beyond the cramped, dirty, unsymmetrical streets and see the magical, almost ethereal elements of the city that are only visible from afar. It was a year after puzzling over the first pre-visualization in pre-production that we felt we had successfully achieved this.
Since its formation in 1998, Double Negative (www.dneg.com) has firmly established itself as a leading player in visual effects production worldwide. Located in the heart of London's Soho, the company is a pre-eminent visual effects studio with more than 30 features to its credit, including FINDING NEVERLAND, and is working on HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE and BATMAN RETURNS.