We delivered about 400 shots in total to the production. Joe Letteri was the production VFX supervisor, with Damien Hurgon overseeing Cinesite’s contribution, created at the Montreal studio. Other VFX vendors were Framestore and DNEG.

Most of Cinesite’s work was environment based. One sequence included a forest extension, for a moment where the children are walking into their hide-out. They filmed in a real forest which gave great natural light, and we extended that behind the kids, so you see the lair in the distance, the forest, rocks and tower. The tower, which is part of their lair, is a landmark visual throughout the film which is seen from several perspectives.

The main asset which was built involved the interior of that tower and a spiral staircase. We see those stairs in various sequences from a range of angles so it needed to be built entirely in CG.  The production built the ground and top floors and our team needed to build everything in between.  The digital extension needed to match what had been built perfectly, and the transitions between what was real and digital needed to be seamless.

When we are in Peter’s room at the top of the tower, the views of Neverland were added into the windows as digital matte paintings, and the perspectives needed to be correct from all sides of the room. 

In another sequence, the Lost Boys are on a boat which turns upside down. Cinesite’s team added to the sense of chaos and danger by adding papers, breaking jars and other props flying through the air. They had filmed the boat practically on a mechanical gimbal, but it was necessary to add the props digitally in order to maintain continuity throughout the sequence.

Other work includes the shadows and this was some of the most challenging VFX that Cinesite delivered. The shadows needed to look realistic and believable, but they are an important part of the story, so conversely, they needed to be clearly visible.

In the news:

Animation Magazine: Cinesite Talks Invisible Magic and the Lost Boys’ Lair in ‘Peter Pan & Wendy’