DISNEY’S latest cartoon-to-live-action remake is blurring the lines between animation and live action, inventing a new cinematic technique – “virtual production”. Such are the technical advances made in the film’s creation, even director Jon Favreau is stumped as to how best describe what he and his team have achieved. “To say it’s animated is misleading as far as what the expectations might be,” says Favreau. “I think calling it live-action is not appropriate either, because it sounds like we’re trying to present something that isn’t accurate. It’s really a game we have created – a multi-player, virtual reality film-making game.” Favreau won plaudits for his 2016 live-action remake of The Jungle Book, filmed on green screen backgrounds featuring a live action Mowgli (Neel Sethi), later inserted into computer graphic representations of the other characters and scenery. With no human characters in The Lion King, Favreau was liberated from green screen and could “enter” the computer graphic world. A “virtual production” was developed, whereby Favreau and his crew stood in a room wearing virtual reality (VR) headsets to occupy a digital diorama built by visual effects teams. Populating the sets were the actors – video game-style animated animals, moving and talking… Read full this story
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