Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share
25/01/2013

Oblique FX Brings Classic To Life

Oblique FX has completed all of the visual effects for On The Road, Walter Salles’s adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s renowned novel.
The facility delivered 110 shots in all, including matte painting and historical clean-ups to help bring to life 1950s America. As a result, theater audiences are transported seamlessly into the world of the Beat Generation and one of its defining stories.
With racial segregation, the Cold War, McCarthyism and the growth of suburban culture, it was a time of powerful social constraints, crying out for change. Kerouac’s novel, published in 1957, follows a small group of mavericks on their travels across America as they search for meaning and independence in a culture of control and conformity.
"It's a thrill for us to have worked on a filmic adaptation of this book," said Émilie Dussault, executive producer at Oblique FX. "Many of us remember reading that novel. It’s a masterpiece of modern literature and wonderfully captures a feeling of freedom and youth."
Rekindling the atmosphere of the era
Making this world believable for a contemporary audience meant Oblique FX started with the director’s palette of rich earthy tones. The production was shot with hand-held cameras on 2-perf 35 mm stock, giving the picture a feeling of spontaneous authenticity. At the same time, camera jitter added to the complexity of the clean-up and compositing work.
"We had to address distortion and destabilization issues on many shots to match the look of the film," said Alexandre Lafortune, VFX supervisor at Oblique FX. "To accomplish this, we analyzed the color and the grain extremely carefully so that our digital work accurately mimicked the original celluloid."
"Our work included clean-up of shots to erase contemporary buildings and modify signs to keep the audience in that period," continued Lafortune. "For one scene we had to transform the streets of Montreal, where part of the movie was shot, into New York. This required extensive matte painting with lots of Photoshop and rotoscoping."
Highway center lines were corrected to reflect the paint color used in 1957, which was white, rather than the yellow commonly used today. "The road is a character in the film," explained Lafortune, "constantly changing through summer and winter, seen through a windshield covered in rain and in bright sunshine."
"Even when something looked simple to alter, the way the camera moves or the wet windshield obscuring our view made it quite challenging," said Lafortune. "We needed time to make it seamless and you can’t cheat on details like these. We had to make the movie accurate to the time and place. That was our biggest challenge."
In other scenes, as the protagonists drive past hayfields, modern industrial hay bales were transformed into stacks of the traditional square hay bales that were used at the time.
Lafortune worked closely with the film’s VFX supervisor, Louis Morin, a frequent collaborator with the team at Oblique FX, including on projects such as Brokeback Mountain, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Fountain and Little Manhattan. Oblique FX was also part of the group of Montreal facilities that worked with him on Source Code. That film earned Morin a nomination for a VES Award in 2012.
"We really enjoy working on independent productions like On the Road," said Benoît Brière, president of Oblique FX. "The focus on the artistic element is inspiring. Projects like these are perfect for a boutique facility like ours."
Produced by MK2 and American Zoetrope, On The Road stars Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart. Directed by Walter Salles, On The Road was released in theatres on Jan. 18, 2013.
www.ObliqueFX.com
Promotion Hire

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

23/08/2002
FX makes it Cimple for Lexicon
FX Cimple Solutions, part of the FX Group of companies, has become the authorized repair agent for Lexicon, on behalf of Stirling Audio. Lexicon manuf
04/12/2007
Blastwave FX Releases 'Spoilers' Movie Trailer Sound FX Collection
Blastwave FX has announced the release of a new sound effects library called 'Spoilers'. Specifically designed with movie trailers and commercials in
15/05/2002
FX Music Control appoint dedicated London manager
FX Music Control, the equipment sales arm of the FX Group, have appointed James ‘Woody’ Woodburn as their London sales manager. Woodburn joins FX Musi
07/07/2006
New equipment available from FX Rentals
FX Rentals, which offers Europe’s largest selection of audio rental equipment, has recently updated its extensive inventory with the acquisition of a
21/09/2004
FX Group restructures technical department
As part of an ongoing drive to improve the services offered to its customers, the FX Group has restructured its technical department, with several key
15/11/2006
Boris FX version 9.0 Boasts Enhancements
Boris FX has announced that Boris FX 9.0 is now available. Boris FX is a 2D and 3D compositing and effects creation plug-in solution that seamlessly i
04/10/2010
Allen & Heath Launches Ground-Breaking New Digital DJ Mixer
Allen & Heath has unveiled the Xone:DB4, a ground-breaking fully digital, high performance DJ mixer with a unique Quad FX Core DSP engine, providing 4
17/12/2002
FX Rental provide a winning score
Pro-audio rental company, FX Rentals, has received praise from some of the biggest names in the film industry for its role in the much-anticipated sec
10/07/2014
SGO Upgrades Mamba FX 2.0
SGO has made another upgrade to its compositing software, Mamba FX in version 2.0. Mamba FX's new toolsets extends the existing SGO product line and d
15/04/2004
Leading London facility puts third FURY film recorder into production
CELCO, specialists in digital film recording systems, has announced that London based digital and optical effects company Capital FX has purchased a t
13/06/2002
FX Rentals' royal appointment
FX Rentals, Europe’s premier pro-audio equipment rental company, took part in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations by supplying a Pro Tools system
05/06/2002
FX Group and db Mediahire in joint audio hire venture
The Greek pro-audio industry has received a major boost thanks to a joint venture between the London-based FX Group and Athens-based db Mediahire that
28/10/2004
FX Rentals supplies gear for UMS 2004
FX Rentals has once again provided sound systems for the Urban Music Seminar, held at London's Royal Festival Hall. "FX Rentals and Urban Music Semina
28/03/2014
SGO To Launch Its New Open Node-Based Compositor MAMBA FX On MAC
Taking the industry by storm and due to popular demand, SGO will soon launch its new open node-based compositor MAMBA FX on MAC. As a versatile multi-
24/07/2003
Wildform release Wild FX Pro titling software
Wildform, creators of video and animation software, have announced the release of Wild FX Pro, a highly versatile and very easy to use video titling a