from the article:
Your Highness is the medieval tale of two princes, brothers Thadeous and Fabious, and their attempt to rescue the later’s future bride, Belladonna, who has been kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar. Joined by aide Courtney and warrior Isabel, the group encounter wizards, savages and strange creatures on their quest.
Framestore completed around 570 shots for the film, including a five-headed serpent, a flying mechanical bird, matte paintings, set extensions and much magic. In this interview with fxguide, Framestore co-founder and the film’s visual effects supervisor Mike McGee delves into how he collaborated closely with the Your Highness filmmakers on both a creative and technical level, and on unexpected CG solutions.
fxg: Can you tell me about how you got involved on the film?
Mike McGee: Danny McBride, who is both a writer on the film and the actor playing Thadeous, and the director, David Gordon Green, came over to Framestore to go through the script, but they said in advance if we had any ideas to throw them into the mix. So I talked through the script and discussed how we could achieve what was already in there, and as we were talking, I was then offering up moments where visual effects could add some real production value and put dollars on the screen.
fxg: You then took on the role of the overall visual effects supervisor. What did that involve initially?
McGee: Well, we filmed in Belfast for four months in the Summer of ’09. I went out a month and a half before filming so that I could be there for the whole pre-production process. I became involved in how much of the set we would build, how much would be topped up in CG, the locations where matte paintings could help to provide bigger vistas, and the bigger creature sequences in terms of what we could do practically and digitally.
fxg: How did you contribute to say the serpent creature sequence?
McGee: When I was first there, we had sequence where a creature would burst out of another body and it would be half human, half alien. But we decided there was something more we could do to make that scene have more production value. So they asked if I could come up with an idea for an alternative creature. So I sat down with the writer, the director and the production designer and this image popped into my head of a five-headed creature. I thought we could build one CG creature and multiply it five times. As I made the shape with my arm, I rested my elbow on the table and made my hand into the five heads. Everybody said, ‘That’s great – we’ll do a hand serpent!’ Then the writer said we could make it like a video game where the bad guys control the creature by putting his hand into a bowl of sick.
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