Last month, MPC VFX Supervisor Aaron Weintraub presented The VFX of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio at FMX 2023. We sat down with him and chatted through his experience at the event and how he envisions the industry will unravel in the near future.
How was your experience at FMX? What was the best part of it?
“FMX was great! I really enjoyed meeting and connecting with all the people in person who I have only ever e-mailed with or spoken to online.”
Can you tell us a bit more about your talk on the VFX on Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio?
“I really hope that people enjoyed the talk and took away that this was a very special project for everyone involved. The entire team is very passionate about the fact that animation is a medium that should be used to tell all kinds of stories, and hopefully this film helps to push more projects in that direction. One thing that surprised me, and that the team takes as a huge compliment, is the number of people who claimed that they didn’t notice any VFX at all — they thought everything was hand-crafted. This was of course by design and our main goal, but it was gratifying to receive that kind of praise for our “invisible” work.”
What is your favourite shot that MPC created in the project?
“There are so many that it’s impossible to choose, but one of my favourites is where Pinocchio jumps off the Dogfish’s tooth and dives into the water inside his mouth. Choreographing the correct timing on the water swells to work with the stop-motion character was a tricky bit of business, requiring him to sink and rise at the right moments and have the waterline crash into the camera. It also featured our BG matte paintings, splashing interaction, and underwater bubbles.”
What do you think will be the next big thing in the industry?
“Tools based on machine learning are going to revolutionise the way we work and enable us to accomplish things we could only dream of having enough time and resources to achieve in the past.”
Who are some people to watch that were also at FMX? And why?
“I think the work accomplished by the team from Avatar: The Way of Water was far and away the most inspiring and cutting edge. Industry-changing breakthroughs are only ever made by massive investments like this and the hope is that the technology will trickle down to the masses, enabling everyone to use it to tell their stories.”
In case you missed it, check out our VFX breakdown of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio:
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