“A treat to work on”-that’s how our co-workers Bara and Frantisek described the process of working on this short film directed by Jakub Kouřil. In addition to the seamless cooperation between our team and the crew, we have highlighted some of the creative solutions and technical approaches that the project called for from the very beginning.
Given that this was a short film intended primarily for film festivals and other special screenings, we had to keep the time spent on production to an absolute minimum. This meant undergoing very thorough preparations, which required efficient and failsafe solutions to streamline both the production and post-production process, as the fantasy world created for this short is in large part the product of animated 3D visualizations.
It is then no surprise that for the 4 shooting days that it took to create the short, each shooting day required 30 days of post-production and 60 days of preparations.
The biggest challenge of the entire project was to come up with a way to shoot in an underwater environment where the actor interacts with animated characters, all while making it look as realistic as possible in the most cost-efficient manner. After conducting thorough research about all of the possible solutions and after comparing the cost of each, we landed at the decision to shoot underwater-8 meters deep in a diving pit.
Actually shooting something underwater may make the post-production process easier, though it does put much more pressure on the crew, actors, equipment and technical work.
Due to the extreme complexity of the director’s original plan to create hand drawn animations, we suggested replacing traditional animations with 3D models, which are not only less time consuming to create, but also allow for modifications to made throughout the course of the project.
Nevertheless, in order to prevent the film from coming across as contrived, we had to pay close attention to the interaction between the live actor and the computer model. We had to make sure that the actor was always looking in the right direction, and so we created several technical elements that we used while filming, making the post-production process a lot easier.
For example, we created a model of a frog using 3D printing, which we used to prompt the actor and which also helped us learn more about the properties of light underwater as well as how it interacts with the scaly skin of an amphibian.
While working on the Perla short, we were once again proven right in that it pays off to get involved as early as possible. Thanks to the consultations we had in the very early prep phase, we were able to propose solutions that gave us the results we wanted. Our presence on set and the unique technical solutions that we came up with also streamlined the process of getting the filmed footage ready for animation and post-production.
“Our collaboration on the Perla project is a classic example of a ‘holistic approach’ to film post-production. Thanks to the open-minded producer Pavel Strnad and director Jakub Kouřil, we were able to have a say in the production process from the very beginning. Together we were able to find an efficient solution which made everyone happy and which brought about a mesmerizing piece of filmmaking.” – Tomáš Srovnal, co-owner at PFX
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