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Nocturnal Animals

Bournemouth-based visual effects studio provides 200 shots, including extensive beauty work to take the lead characters back to their 20s, for director Tom Ford’s second feature.

OutpostVFX completed 200 shots for Universal’s Nocturnal Animals, for Oscar nominated Tom Ford.

Premiering at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, Nocturnal Animals (nominated for 8 BAFTAs) is Ford's second feature, a dark tense physiological thriller the film features a superb cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, and Aaron Taylor Johnson. Outpost provided 200 VFX shots for this project, including a number of sequences where the story jumps back in time about 18 years, meaning the lead characters required extensive VFX beauty work to take them back to their early 20s.

Given Ford's well known eye for detail and perfection, the challenge was to strike the perfect balance between youthfulness and realism. Although the majority of the shots were full face close-ups, the performances were in no way limited by VFX requirements during the shoot so the final shots are completely natural and beautiful. The technique used to create this took the VFX team back to their fine art roots.

CEO and Outpost's VFX Supervisor on the project, Duncan McWilliam was aware from the beginning of the challenges faced by the team. "Each shot was an exercise in craftsmanship and subtlety, Tom Ford's vision was that the beauty work looked absolutely real and in no way airbrushed or plastic," McWilliam commented. "It was important to ensure perfect facial continuity across each differently lit scene and the talented VFX artists certainly achieved this."

Principle photography lasted two months starting from October 2015 and post production was just four weeks from turnover, so all 200 shots were delivered in a particularly tight turnaround. "This time frame is a huge undertaking for any facility, especially for this type of intricate photo realistic work," McWilliam continued. "I think we can be very proud of what that we achieved, we were able to create subtle, realistic facial beauty and de-ageing shots that seamlessly blended into Tom Ford’s distinct vision. A testament to the dedication of what is a truly incredible team of artists!"

One of the industry's most renowned Post Production Supervisors, Mark Harris, oversaw the post and commented, "The team at Outpost did a superb job on the VFX for Nocturnal Animals. The quality of work submitted was second to none and we look forward to working with the team again." The film has already won The Grand Jury prize at Venice, The Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor and is nominated for 8 Baftas.

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