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LOOK: One of Us’ VFX Breakdown Reel for Matteo Garrone's ‘Pinocchio’

The Soho visual effects studio’s digital work added to the richness and beauty of the make-believe world inspired by original 19th century illustrations of Carlo Collodi’s famous story.

Soho VFX studio, One of Us, announced their involvement in the recent UK release of Matteo Garrone's Pinocchio. The film, which features some of the most beautiful and ambitious work in the studio’s 15-year history, is based on Carlo Collodi's original story from the 19th century and draws on Carlo Chiostri's illustrations.

The studio delivered over 200 shots, nearly half an hour of screen time, winning the David di Donatello award for VFX earlier this year.

Garrone's is a world in which animals are portrayed with little more than make-up (a fox, a cat) live alongside fully digital creatures (a donkey, dogfish, woodpeckers) and prosthetic-digital hybrids (tuna, snail, cricket).

The company got involved in the project early in pre-production and began by testing approaches to the portrayal of Pinocchio himself, working alongside make-up and prosthetics magician Mark Coulier, to be sure the digital work was in sympathy with, and added to, the richness of the world that Garrone was building.

Through pre-production, and a three month shoot in Tuscany, Puglia and Rome, One Of Us VFX supervisor, Theo Demiris, built a relationship of trust with Garrone, developing an understanding of his aesthetic intentions and planning the best route through a short post period.

“The work presented both technical and artistic challenges, including a 40 second shot of a drowning donkey enveloped in a shimmering school of fish, and the breaching of the whale which swallows Pinocchio, with all the chaotic water interaction that entails,” commented Demiris on the complexities of the VFX.

“We also need to mention the iconic sequence in which the young puppet’s nose grows in response to his lies and is resolved by the arrival of a small flock of woodpeckers,” added Demiris. “These and many other complex shots needed to fit within the singular world that Garrone had created, and much of this was achieved by an ongoing dialogue between One Of Us, the director, and his concept artist and character designer Pietro Scola.”

“We are tremendously proud of what Theo and his team have created,” remarked One of Us company director, Rachael Penfold. “And we are delighted to be part of this beautiful, and beguiling fairy tale.”

Pinocchio is currently showing at cinemas across the UK.

Source: One of Us