5 August 2014

The Soloist

Director: Joe Wright
Studio: DreamWorks SKG, Universal Pictures, StudioCanal
Released: 24th April 2009 (US)

Dneg VFX Supervisor: John Moffatt
Dneg VFX Producers: Melissa Taylor and Emma Larsson


From the director of the BAFTA winning film Atonement, Joe Wright, and starring Oscar winner Jamie Foxx and Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr, comes a poignant film based on a true story. The Soloist is inspired by the multi-faceted, real-life relationship of LA journalist Steve Lopez and musician, Nathaniel Ayers, once a Juilliard prodigy now mentally disturbed and living rough on the streets.

The director was inspired by the abstract films of the 1970s, in particular the work of Stan Brakhage and Len Lye when it came to the Synesthesia sequence, where musical genius, Ayers, visualises music as colour.

Double Negative’s VFX Supervisor, John Moffatt, supported by VFX Producer, Emma Larsson and Executive Producer, Melissa Taylor, conceptualised a simple approach using coloured lights, crystals and glass. Elements were shot in a dark tent on a parking lot and Moffatt worked closely with VFX film editor Andy Hague, to create a sequence that seemed to be moving and changing colour with the music.