Darren Aronofsky Talks Milestone ILM Visual Effects in Biblical 'Noah'
We haven't see much from the Biblical epic Noah from director Darren Aronofsky, but that doesn't mean we're not excited for the film starring Russell Crowe as the title ark builder. Now we have even more to look forward to on a visual scale as the Black Swan director recently spoke with DGA Quarterly (via The Playlist) and talked about the extensive visual effects surrounding the giant ship itself, the plethora of animals on the ark and much more. In fact, the folks at Industrial Light & Magic have told Aronofsky that one scene in the film is the most complicated computer rending in the special effects company's history. More below!
Aronofsky talked about not representing the animal kingdom with the most common species:
“We had to create an entire animal kingdom. All the animals in the movie are slightly tweaked; I didn’t want the clichéd polar bear, elephant, and lion walking onto the Ark; I didn’t want the shot of a giraffe’s head looking over the rail. I wanted to respect the storyline and think what would have been involved if it all really happened. We basically went through the animal kingdom and pinpointed the body types we wanted: some pachyderms, some rodents, reptiles, and the bird kingdom. We chose the species and they were brought to life with different furs and colors. We didn’t want anything fully recognizable but not completely absurd either.”
This sounds like it might end up being a bit of a surreal representation of the the familiar Biblical tale, but we wouldn't expect anything less from a filmmaker like Aronofsky. So how about this historical shot that ILM is working on for the film? The director says:
“It was a nice badge of honor. I don’t think it’s the most incredible shot, but I think because of all the hair on the animals it was incredibly complicated for them. They said, ‘We can only render it two or three more times so make sure those are exactly right because they take so long and are so complex.’”
Wow. They better make sure that shot is perfect then. Finally, Aronofsky talks about the biggest hurdle when shooting a film like this, "There are fantastical creatures, fantastical events. There's a huge deluge. What you're photographing is often not the thing that will appear on screen -- that's the underpinning. There will be a huge amount of visual architecture placed on top of that, and that sort of makes it a different job. Sometimes only the actor's face will be in the final image." Yeah, directors taking on films like this truly have to envision how the final shot will look in their head, and then hope the hundreds of other people on the crew can help make it a reality. We'll see how it turns out on March 28th, 2014.