June 23, 2014
As with many people who are my age, the original Robocop remains one of my favourite movies of the 1980’s. So when the opportunity came up to work at Framestore on the remake I was very excited.
Most of my shots were in the opening Tehran battle sequence. Basically lots of robots and explosions – pretty much what I got into VFX for.
The CG was all rendered in Arnold, which meant superb lighting that needed very little comp love (and the talent of the lighting TD’s obviously counts!). The tricky parts were getting the very messy interactions in the hand-to-hand combat between insurgents and robots, which involved removing the stunt actors (who stood in for the robots) and manipulating the humans back on top of them. Also the environments needed many, many layers of elements to depict the dirt and destruction happening – a lot of my shots were beautifully comped, then obscured under dozens of layers of smoke and debris. Some of the Tehran streets needed the plate entirely replacing with full CG environments.
A fun show that can be summarized by the immortal quote of the VFX supervisor, who when asked to verify who was shooting who in the end battle sequence, clarified that “Everyone is firing at everyone all of the time”