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  • Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part I was arguably the most anticipated film of 2014. Directed by Francis Lawrence, it is the first of a two-part finale to The Hunger Games franchise and centers of Katniss Evergreen’s role as the face of a mass revolution building toward all-out war.

    Rising Sun Pictures was contracted to produce more than 50 visual effects shots for the film, the majority centering on a propaganda video that Katniss makes in behalf of the totalitarian state Panem. The scene takes place in a production studio with Katniss acting her part on a stage. Special effects technology is employed to make it appear as though she is standing in a battlefield surrounded by drone-like soldiers while making her patriotic pitch to the masses. The sequence climaxes with a 180-degree camera move as Katniss waves a flag and hovercraft swoop by overhead.

    “It’s like a film within a film,” explains RSP compositing supervisor Paul Kirwan. “It needed to look stylized enough that the audience is aware it’s a construction, but slick enough to appear as though it’s made with future technology.”

    The only live elements in the scene are Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and the soldiers who appear nearest the foreground. RSP visual effects supervisor Tim Crosbie flew to the production site near Atlanta, Georgia to oversee the shooting of the talent. About a dozen extras assumed the roles of soldiers. They were shot multiple times using motion control camera rigs, so that they could be easily positioned within the 3D geometry of the scene.

    Soldiers placed farther back in the scene are digital doubles produced by RSP artists, working at the studio’s Adelaide facility under the supervision of visual effects supervisor Marc Varisco. They also created foreground rocks, debris and ground cover, applied smoke, haze and other atmospherics, and placed the hovercraft in the sky. The background environment, representing a ruined urban area, was composed from matte paintings sourced from photos of actual war-torn environments. “There are a couple of dead Peacekeepers in the area where Katniss is standing,” notes Kirwan. “Production provided scans for those; we painted and glossed them up to make them blend in properly.”

    The RSP team are masters at producing realistic environments. The twist here was that the scene depicts what amounts to a commercial and therefore needed to appear as though it wasn’t quite real. The studio’s design and art team exchanged a number of iterations with Francis Lawrence and his production team as they worked to get the feel just right.

    “The director wanted it to appear very art directed,” Kirwan recalls. “He was very specific about the colors he wanted and the tonal range in the sky. He wanted the flag that Katniss waves to really stand out. It needed to feel stylized, but not too stylized. As we went further into the work, it became more realistic until we hit that sweet spot. It was an interesting challenge.”

    Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part I was arguably the most anticipated film of 2014. Directed by Francis Lawrence, it is the first of a two-part finale to The Hunger Games franchise and centers of Katniss Evergreen’s role as the face of a mass revolution building toward all-out war.

    Rising Sun Pictures was contracted to produce more than 50 visual effects shots for the film, the majority centering on a propaganda video that Katniss makes in behalf of the totalitarian state Panem. The scene takes place in a production studio with Katniss acting her part on a stage. Special effects technology is employed to make it appear as though she is standing in a battlefield surrounded by drone-like soldiers while making her patriotic pitch to the masses. The sequence climaxes with a 180-degree camera move as Katniss waves a flag and hovercraft swoop by overhead.

    “It’s like a film within a film,” explains RSP compositing supervisor Paul Kirwan. “It needed to look stylized enough that the audience is aware it’s a construction, but slick enough to appear as though it’s made with future technology.”

    The only live elements in the scene are Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and the soldiers who appear nearest the foreground. RSP visual effects supervisor Tim Crosbie flew to the production site near Atlanta, Georgia to oversee the shooting of the talent. About a dozen extras assumed the roles of soldiers. They were shot multiple times using motion control camera rigs, so that they could be easily positioned within the 3D geometry of the scene.

    Soldiers placed farther back in the scene are digital doubles produced by RSP artists, working at the studio’s Adelaide facility under the supervision of visual effects supervisor Marc Varisco. They also created foreground rocks, debris and ground cover, applied smoke, haze and other atmospherics, and placed the hovercraft in the sky. The background environment, representing a ruined urban area, was composed from matte paintings sourced from photos of actual war-torn environments. “There are a couple of dead Peacekeepers in the area where Katniss is standing,” notes Kirwan. “Production provided scans for those; we painted and glossed them up to make them blend in properly.”

    The RSP team are masters at producing realistic environments. The twist here was that the scene depicts what amounts to a commercial and therefore needed to appear as though it wasn’t quite real. The studio’s design and art team exchanged a number of iterations with Francis Lawrence and his production team as they worked to get the feel just right.

    “The director wanted it to appear very art directed,” Kirwan recalls. “He was very specific about the colors he wanted and the tonal range in the sky. He wanted the flag that Katniss waves to really stand out. It needed to feel stylized, but not too stylized. As we went further into the work, it became more realistic until we hit that sweet spot. It was an interesting challenge.”

    Credits & Crew
    Director:
    Francis Lawrence
    VFX Producer:
    Walter Garcia
    VFX Supervisor:
    Charlie Gibson
    Rising Sun Pictures:
    Adam Paschke Adam Potter Alana Newell Alex Meddick Andrew Palmer Anto Bond Ben Dickson Ben Paschke Chris King Damien Thaller Dan Wills Daniel Thompson David Cattermole Dennis Jones Gemma Wood Jared Embley Jason Madigan Jesse Balodis Kenny Yong Kevin Campbell Marc Varisco Marcus Riquier Mark Day Mark Story Matt Shaw Nick Pill Paris Downs Paul Kirwan Prema Paetsch Richard Thwaites Ryan Grobins Sam Hancock Sam Hodge Shane Berry Simon Herden Simon Malessa Simon Walsh Spyro Polymiadis Stuart MacKenzie Thomas Price Tim Crosbie Victor Glushchenko Vinnakota Gupta
    Director:
    Francis Lawrence
    VFX Producer:
    Walter Garcia
    VFX Supervisor:
    Charlie Gibson
    Rising Sun Pictures:
    Adam Paschke Adam Potter Alana Newell Alex Meddick Andrew Palmer Anto Bond Ben Dickson Ben Paschke Chris King Damien Thaller Dan Wills Daniel Thompson David Cattermole Dennis Jones Gemma Wood Jared Embley Jason Madigan Jesse Balodis Kenny Yong Kevin Campbell Marc Varisco Marcus Riquier Mark Day Mark Story Matt Shaw Nick Pill Paris Downs Paul Kirwan Prema Paetsch Richard Thwaites Ryan Grobins Sam Hancock Sam Hodge Shane Berry Simon Herden Simon Malessa Simon Walsh Spyro Polymiadis Stuart MacKenzie Thomas Price Tim Crosbie Victor Glushchenko Vinnakota Gupta

    RSP sent a balloon 40km into the atmosphere for photographic reference for 'Gravity'.
    Contact us:

    Level 1, 180 Pulteney Street Adelaide, South Australia 5000 Australia

    +61 8 8400 6400 vfxinfo@rsp.com.au

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    Contact us:

    Level 1, 180 Pulteney Street Adelaide, South Australia 5000 Australia

    +61 8 8400 6400 vfxinfo@rsp.com.au

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