This was my first time at Brunel and having done my Bachelor at Kingston and Masters at Bournemouth, the first thing I noticed was the size of the campus! Seemed pretty big! We had a quick tour of some of the facilities first such as the green screen room, performance capture studio and the sound room and were very impressed with the infrastructure and their equipment. Having access to Red Cameras, jeeps and dolly can certainly elevate the quality of students’ projects and in turn helping them putting better show reels together. I tried to find some of their student projects work afterwards which was a very difficult task and I simply couldn’t!
We started the presentation by introducing Framestore and the main departments, and then with more focus on 2d pipeline, R&D and effects. I think it went pretty well and I do hope we provided students with some insight into industry and give them some sort of direction to follow in the remaining years of their degree.
Having been a student myself not long ago I fully understand the difficulties of obtaining some information regarding to the career opportunities and what’s required to get there and I’m always more happy to share what I’ve learned with others. VFX industry in the UK is still growing and I think there’s still so much potential and it’s up to the studios at this point to help the educators train the next generation of artists with good background and knowledge in science and fine arts.
This week I’ve been in Bournemouth training new recruits of my company. They have created an outpost within the art university college campus and I was sent down to train them for character stereo conversion. I used some of the shots that I worked on during the work with did for Harry Potter and overall I think it went well. I always like teaching and passing on when I’ve learned and experienced and this certainly wan as excellent chance for me too.
It was very interesting to be back in Bournemouth , where I lived for a year to do my masters degree, this time from a new perspective. I have so many different memories in this town coming back to me as I was passing by different parts. It’s been only a year since I left but feels much longer.
A decade, a generation and we can finally say goodbye to Harry Potter. It’s an epic finale to a very long journey that seemed will never end. The movie begins with the last final minutes of Part I where Voldemort open’s Dumbledore’s grave to steal his wand which I think was a good opening. The story goes very fast from there on as there’s much to be told and rhythm keeps the audience on their toes, it’s a roller coaster.
David Yates has become better and better by each movie and especially in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 he shows that despites the critiques’ he’s able to control the pace and give us an insight into the characters beautifully. In the final movie I think he wasn’t able to control everything as successfully which could be due to the fact that there was a lot to cover. Unfortunately this could be seen in the edit too and some of the cuts seemed a bit rushed and there was continuity issues, in fact the whole movie looked rushed. This was especially visible in the King’s Cross sequence with the lack of linking shots between the cuts although not damaging the storyline but creating jumps between the cuts. Overall everything works and it’s a pleasing experience, however, I think the book’s fans will make a better connection to this film as many of the flashbacks in the movie are very short, vague and could be even a bit confusing. The Snape’s back story for example which is a very critical piece of information could have been much better explained and visualized.
Acting is very good as expected from a line of prestigious British actors, and Daniel Radcliffe has a better performance as well and he is less dry when he speaks which I think it’s his downside as his facial expressions particularly in the last movie are brilliant. I found Voldemort’s character to be more creepy and sad than scary! His portrayal in the book is much stronger but movies don’t and don’t really have to follow the books line by line. The actor chosen as Harry’s son in the epilogue is sadly very poor and I’ve found the entire epilogue’s sequence not to be that great actually and somehow unnecessary if it was to be shown like this, but it’s always interesting to see a glimpse of the future I suppose.
Soundtrack composed by Alexandre Desplat which carries on from Part I with a nicely frames shots of Eduardo Serra are nicely blended together and you can hardly notice the soundtrack on its own, a complement to how well it’s been integrated.
The majority of the Visual Effects, if not all, are provided by the London Houses such Double Negative, Cinesite, MPC and Framestore where I was a part of their team. Overall outstanding work and definitely worthy of an Oscar nomination. They are all serving the story extremely well with nothing extra just as it should be. I wasn’t surprised but a bit disappointed that in the premiere the producers and director thanked everyone except the visual effects artist who actually made this happen. VFX’s important is yet to be recognised.
It’s not easy to say good-bye but it is the time. Harry Potter and the deathly Hollows Part II is an entertaining movie that tries to say a lot in little time. Despite the minor points I’ve mentioned I don’t think anyone will leave the theatre unsatisfied and the movie even deserves a second viewing.