Catching up with Doctor Strange
VFX supervisor Stephane Ceretti
By Daniel Restuccio
Marvel’s Doctor Strange — about a neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands in an accident and sets off on a self-obsessed journey to find a cure — did well in terms of box office. It is also on the short list of films being considered for a VFX Oscar. You’ve got the winning combination of Benedict Cumberbatch, Marvel, a compelling story and a ton of visual effects created by some of the biggest houses in the business, including ILM (London, San Francisco, Vancouver), Method (LA, Vancouver), Luma (LA, Melbourne), Framestore London, Lola, Animal Logic, Crafty Apes, Exceptional Minds and Technicolor VFX.
Leading the VFX charge was visual effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti, whose credit list reads like a Top 10 list for films based on Marvel comics, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The First Avenger and X-Men: First Class. His resume is long and impressive.
We reached out to Ceretti to find out more about Doctor Strange's visual effects process…
When did you start on the project? When were all the shots turned in?
I started in September 2014 as Scott Derrickson, the director, was working on the script. Production got pushed a few months while we waited for Benedict Cumberbatch to be available, but we worked extensively on previz and visual development during all this time. Production moved to London in June 2015. Shooting began in November 2015 and went until March 2016. Shots and digital asset builds got turned over as we were shooting and in post, as the post production period was very short on the film. We only had 5.5 months to do the visual effects. We finished the film sometime in October, just a few weeks before the release.
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