Jungle Cruise, poster
Jungle Cruise, poster
Disney has teamed up with ILM (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Weta (The Jungle Book) to design the sets, ships and creatures for the adventure film with Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson.
Jungle Cruise released today on DVD and blu-ray, and among its many bonuses (making-of, blooper, cut scenes, meeting with real skippers from Disney parks …), several videos focus on the film’s special effects . Because to adapt on the big screen the cult attraction of the Disneyland parks (which does not exist in France, but was one of the first to be inaugurated by Walt Disney, in 1955), Jaume Collet-Serra teamed up with the creators of the most talented sets and VFX of the moment. Just to shoot the scenes aboard the boat of the skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson), it was necessary to build a gigantic basin and a system of rails in order to be able to move the ship in real size according to the action scenes to be shot. “He had to be able to move forward, capsize … and we needed water, real water, even if we could have created it digitally, there are plenty of scenes where we preferred to really play with water”, explains the director.
Here is an excerpt from the adventure film bonuses:
Emily Blunt – Jungle Cruise: “It’s Dwayne the girl in this movie”
Regarding the jungle, on the other hand, it is impossible to shoot directly in the Amazon, so the team built part of the outdoor sets in Hawaii (the port, the aboriginal tree) and the rest were created by computer (we see in the course different bonuses of many blue backgrounds). The conquistadors who blend in with nature, victims of a curse, have also been finalized digitally. Led by Edgar Ramirez, they are trapped in lianas, being reborn under the moon, mixing with the flora and fauna that surrounded them at the time of their death. There is for example a “bee man” and another covered in mud, all digitally animated from scenes shot by the actors. Without on-board camera! This is another major step in the development of performance capture technology, since each actor usually has to carry a small camera on his forehead responsible for filming the slightest movements of his face and retransmitting them to a computer. Here, the dots are drawn on the faces of the actors, then they are made up on top (!) And the information is recorded thanks to an infrared camera fixed under the director’s main camera. An innovative technology that we owe to ILM, the company responsible in particular for animating other characters who are victims of a curse: the skeletons of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Jungle cruise: Emily Blunt and The Rock, a hell of a duo [critique]
Among the bonuses devoted to the creation of special effects, the most entertaining is undoubtedly the one that explains how Proxima was created, a female jaguar who has a certain importance in the plot – no need to say more to avoid not spoil surprises. Animated 100% digitally, because it has to interact with the comedians and it would have been too dangerous and complicated to set up with a real wild animal, it was designed by Weta Digital, the VFX company of Peter Jackson . Before animating it, she was “played” by a stuntman, Ben Jenkin. His job was to move around in space jaguar-style, so that the stars of the film could interact with him and make their gestures appear more natural. Thus, they did not play in front of a void or a ball supposed to represent the location of the animal, but in the company of a real person, dressed like the jaguar. “I didn’t know that this animal could be colored, for me it was all black, laughs Jack Whitehall, McGregor’s interpreter. When I saw him arrive with his outfit, I thought it was a very daring choice for a first day of filming! “ Despite the mockery, Ben Jenkins took his position very seriously, he who had already “embodied” animals in The jungle Book by Jon Favreau. Moreover, his main job as a stuntman is a plus for this type of performance capture contract, because he knows how to jump or fight in a small space without hurting himself or touching his partners. If you want to know more, here is his stunt showcase video recorded in 2018 to publicize his profile in Hollywood:
The evolution of performance capture told by Andy Serkis