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10/09/2002

Pepper adds sparkle to White Teeth

Pepper, one of the leading broadcast television and film post-production facilities, is responsible for the extensive visual effects shots in Channel 4’s new drama White Teeth, based on the best-selling novel by Zadie Smith.
Shane Warden, Avid|DS Artist and Director of Pepper, advised on the shoot with freelancer James Jordan. The production involved extensive blue and green screen work, most notably on the scenes featuring both twin boys, Millat and Magid, who were played by one actor. These scenes were shot with each character (and additional interacting characters) on bluescreen, with backgrounds shot separately; Warden then composited and blended the three elements together in Avid|DS, being careful to match lighting, shadows and perspectives.
Perhaps the most challenging effect was the removal of key character Clara’s front teeth. Although covered in make-up for the shoot, the teeth were still visible on screen. Warden and Jordan had to ‘remove’ them and track each shot as Clara moved to ensure they remained out of sight, and that the hole that remained was realistic.
Other effects included replacing and tracking green-screened advertising billboards with specially researched period adverts, and the compositing of an otherwise tricky shot to get crucial action of a white mouse in close-up. Pepper completed over 20 effects in total for the drama.
White Teeth is a 4x60minute drama for Channel 4, which begins on September 17 2002.
(GB)
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