Visual Effects on Anomalisa – Interview to Raoul Bolognini (Temprimental Films)

We present an exclusive interview with Raoul Bolognini of Temprimental Films, society who worked on Stop-Motion movie “Anomalisa” directed by Charlie Kaufman. Temprimental Films, located in Los Angeles and London, offer production and management services for Visual Effects in movies as Sinister 2, The Wedding Ringer, Deliver us from Evil, This is The End.

Welcome to Lo Spazio Bianco. Could you start by talking about Temprimental Films?
Thanks for having us!  Its exciting to be involved with such great a great project like Anomalisa, especially with the news of an academy award and VES nomination!
Temprimental was started 4 years ago. We specialize in Visual Effects management, essentially we act as a HUB for our clients and the teams of visual effects companies and artists that work with us from around the globe. From pre production to production and all thorough post Temperamental manages the entire pipeline for visual effects. Its an exciting time [for us] as our global outreach gives us a greater footprint to find the best talent, supervisors and tax / cost savings to our clients.

Could you describe in detail your work on Anomalisa? How many people did work on the project and how many sequences did you contribute to?
Temprimental came onto the project once the film was in post production. We worked on a total of 114 sequences with a crew of about 100 artists split both here in the US and oversea’s.

What kind of technologies did you use?
The software used to utilize these techniques were as follows: Shotgun software for project organizing and review. The foundry Nuke software for compositing and fx integration. Autodesk Flame Premium for composting and fx integration. Autodesk Maya 3d software, for set extensions and ceiling replacements. Mocha for rotoscoping. Synth-eyes for camera tracking. Fume Fx plugin for cigarette smoke.

Compared to other films you worked on, Anomalisa has the peculiar feature of being a stop-motion animation movie. Because of this, were there any particular challenges you had to deal with?
I’d like to invite my VFX Supervising partner Culley Bunker from from Skulley Effects to discuss this in more detail:
Working on Anomalisa had a unique set of challenges. Many shots had numerous layers and takes to achieve the end results you see.
To achieve this we had to separate each layer using chroma keys and rotoscoping.
Due to the nature of the stop motion and the animatiors frame rate decisions, the rotoscoping and layer seperation became a very time-consuming process. You see rotoscoping is usually achieved by in-betweening or animated key framing.  But with Anomalisa and stop motion, the rate of animation was different for every shot. Some shots would be every other frame (the standard with stop motion),  but the majority were very random.  A still frame here then two animated frames then a a still frame then three animated frames. You get the picture. Not only was it hand animated on set, but we had to hand animate most of our shots.  This also was the case for 3d cameras tracking as well.
Also due to the technical aspects of animating the stop motion, most of the ceilings are a post CG process. This was so that on set animation artists could get into each set with out fear of having to reset the ceiling for each take.  The ceilings were created in very high detail to match the directors very keen eye.  Matching the lighting of the stop motion combined with the offset frame rates made for an interesting process.

This was, just like for you, Charlie Kaufman’s first animation movie. How was your relationship? Were there any particular demands for some settings?
From the get go the bar was set extremely high, after all this is a Charlie Kaufman project, so everything had to be perfect. The attention to detail was very demanding on our crew and schedule and like any feature eventually time runs out, however that didn’t stop Charlie and Duke Johnson pushing for more. It was a good discipline for us!

Anomalisa is a movie with mature themes and with a pretty realistic angle. Yet there are some scenes where prevails an oniric and imaginary slant, What was your contribute to the scene of Michael’s dream?
Thats a great question, but a tough one to answer as really our role boiled down to making sure everything from an effects standpoint was 100% seamless, so as not to take the audience out of any key story points.

What are your future projects?
For 2016 we have some exciting projects coming up for 2016. “Patient Zero” and “Underworld 5” for Screen Gems and Kevin Heart’s stand up comedy movie “What Now” for Universal. We are also in early pre production on projects I unfortunately cannot discuss at this time, so you’ll have to check in with us again so we can update you on the exciting news!

Thanks again for having us  on Lo Spazio Bianco!
Grazie Mille!

Raoul Bolognini

Executive Producer/Owner “Temprimental Films, INC”

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