Director: Greg Mottola
Studio: Universal Pictures
Released: 14th February 2011
Dneg VFX Supervisor: Jody Johnson
Dneg VFX Producers: Alex Hope + Hal Couzens
Dneg 2D Supe: Gruff Owen
Dneg CG Supe: Julian Foddy
“… the alien is all head, big shiny eyes and gangly limbs, a first-class CGI creation that fits seamlessly into the film.” Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter.
Greg Mottola’s (Superbad) new movie, Paul, stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) as comic book geeks who have close encounters with an alien as they travel across the U.S. in a RV.
Double Negative was responsible for all the VFX in the film and the team was led by VFX Supervisor, Jody Johnson, Animation Supervisor, Anders Beer, VFX Producer, Hal Couzens and Line Producer, Karen Clarke.
The challenge for the animators was to create a believable and compelling character performance for the CG alien, Paul. Seth Rogen (Kung Fu Panda, Horton Hears a Who!) was cast as the voice of Paul, and the animators were tasked with marrying Rogen’s larger than life, gravelly voice, with the 4ft tall, grey alien, whilst maintaining an appealing and photo-realistic performance that wouldn’t be questioned by the audience. “The animators did an amazing job integrating the two so you don’t question it,” says Animation Supervisor, Anders Beer, “they really threw themselves into it.” The result is a rich, characterful performance, which has been achieved, through great skill and teamwork, as a sustainable performance across a team of two dozen animators.
In addition to the creation of the Paul character, DNeg also developed and animated the other alien crew members, each one being based on crew members from Nostromo in Alien. The team also worked on concepts and realisation of the spaceships, augmenting the partial model built for shooting and also adding lights, dust and smoke. Other VFX work included Paul’s invisibility, the mind-meld sequences, the digital bird and a multitude of greenscreen driving shots.
Paul is released in the UK on 14th February, 2011 and in the US on 18th March, 2011