Well, after five days of walking around Boston's cavernous Convention & Exhibition Center, Nancy and I are admittedly kind of wiped. Which is why today's SIGGRAPH 2006 story will be a bit on the slim side.
But -- that said -- you're still going to see some stuff today that Disney Studio execs would probably prefer that you didn't see. All thanks to those nice folks at Lucasfilm Ltd ...
Photo by Nancy Stadler
... Who -- as part of yesterday's "I Challenge Davy Jones: Creating Digital Characters for 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' " presentation -- shared ILM's gag reel for this particular film. Which featured such oddities as Elizabeth Swann's swords being swapped out and replaced by lightsabers ...
Copyright 2006 Disney Enterprises
... Or -- better yet -- the "Krispy Kremed" footage ...
Copyright 2006 Lucasfilm Ltd.
... Where that runaway water wheel that Will Turner, Commodore Norrington and Capt. Jack Sparrow spent so much time sword-fighting on was digitally replaced by a giant glazed donut.
Now I know that some of this much seem odd. But you have to understand that -- when you spend hundreds of man-hours trying to meet impossible deadlines on hugely expensive motion pictures -- that sometimes the pressure can really get to you. Which is why -- in order to lighten the mood -- you sometimes deliberately create FX sequences like this just so you can then crack up your co-workers. Lighten the mood, so to speak.
Of course, sometimes you don't actually have to create silly FX sequences. Sometimes the computer does it all by itself. Take -- for example -- this image capture from some early CG footage of a member of Davy Jones' crew ...
... where this unfortunate pirate's pants kept falling off.
Sure, these unintentionally funny scenes are kind of cute. But if you want really big laughs, you have to check out these specially-made effects sequences ...
... Where the FX team at ILM got the crew of the Flying Dutchman to act like the cast of "A Chorus Line."
Mind you, there were some things about the "Pirates" sequel that ILM's FX wizards weren't willing to share. Like -- for example -- a full-sized image of that movie's mega-monster, the Kraken.
The folks at Lucasfilm Ltd. kept that sea creature under wraps because ... Well, "Dead Man's Chest" director Gore Verbinski believes that -- when it comes to the Kraken -- less is really more. As in: the less movie-goers see of this cross between a giant squid & an octopus, the more mysterious & menacing this monster will seem. Which is why you never got to see a clear image of this creature in the "Pirates" sequel. Which is why you never understood how truly huge the Kraken was in comparison to the Black Pearl.
Til now, that is ...
FYI: The above image comes from one of the many books that JHM was giving away as part of last month's "Guess the Opening Weekend Gross for 'Dead Man's Chest'" contest. Which was won by aggie96. Who sent in a eerily accurate prediction of how much this Jerry Bruckheimer production would earn over its first three days in domestic release.
"How eerily accurate?," you ask. Well, aggie96 missed predicting how much exactly the "Pirates" sequel by a mere $4,554. I'm told that his prediction of $135.63 million truly freaked out a few execs in the Team Disney Burbank building.
Anyway, let me now offer a very belated congratulations to aggie96. And if you'll send me your mailing address, I'd be happy to put your "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" gift pack in the mail ASAP.
Well, that's it for this week, folks. Again, I apologize for the somewhat skimpy assortment of articles that we posted on JHM over the past five days. But if you give Nancy and I a day or so to recover from covering SIGGRAPH 2006 ... I promise that you'll start seeing some pretty amazing stories up on this site over the next few weeks.
For now, have a great weekend, okay? And we'll see you all again on Monday.