is due out next March, but we haven't heard or seen much from the film lately. That changes today, with the revelation that one particular scene in the biblical epic has proven to be the most difficult shot the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic
have ever undertaken.
Filmmaker Aronofsky made the interesting decision to use an entire menagerie made of CGI animals -- and that means every one of those creatures had to be rendered by VFX artists. Aronofsky explains the rationale behind his decision to go digital in the following quote:
"I think we’ve learned from people who have done it before that that’s a really bad move. Politically it’s not a great thing to work with live animals and that’s becoming more apparent to people as time goes by, but also, technically, it would have been extremely difficult. And we’ve learned from lots of other films how hard it is to bring different kinds of animals together.”
That makes sense -- as does the statement that one of the shots was the most challenging in ILM's history once you realize that Aronofsky -- ever the visual stylist -- wanted shots that were different than what folks have come to expect from a movie about Noah's infamous ark.
"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.”
The funniest part about all of this? The shot that gave the guys at ILM such fits aren't even all that impressive to the director.
"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," Aronofsky said. "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.’ ”
We'll have to wait until March 28 to see this shot that pushed ILM's rendering capabilities to its limits, but it's one more reason we're really excited to see Aronofsky's latest.
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