Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hellboy 2 Cast and Crew

I was up bright and early today for the cast and crew screening of Hellboy 2. I know it's been out for over a week in The States but it doesn't open for a month here so it was still a sneak peak by UK standards.

It's always a mixed bag of emotions seeing a film you've devoted so much time and energy to for the first time. One part is relief that the film definitely must, finally, be done since you are attending a screening of it and the other is wondering whether all the hard work was worth it. I have only really loved one film that I've done, that being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I've liked others and most have been ho-hum, but that's pretty much how any statistical breakdown of film quality would pan out; you're only going to get the odd gem. Hellboy 2 certainly isn't the worst film I've worked on but it definitely ends up in the ho-hum category for me. My personal moment of happiness was that during the scene I did, Danny Elfman saw fit to put some walloping good music over the top which helped immensely. I've done quite badly with the scoring over the sequences I've worked on in the past. The big fleet reveal shot in Troy always makes me wince because it had such sweeping epic music in the trailers and then nothing so robust in the film itself resulting, I felt, in a rather lacklustre experience. Today though, Danny Elfman did us proud and though he has no clue who we are we thank him anyway.

Hellboy 2 also felt a little odd compared to other shows I've done because of the sheer amount of it I'd seen before the screening. Usually a studio will award chunks of work to several VFX houses so if you work in one of those houses you'll only see the bits that you're working on and the rest of the film will be a mystery. The company I work for did pretty much all of the VFX work for Hellboy 2 and so there was very little of it that was unfamiliar. I don't think that helped my appreciation of the finished film much. A film that's about magical spectacle is hindered if you've seen all the magical spectacle a hundred times before. On the other hand it was nice to se it with the soundtrack - we tend to work just to picture so we may not hear the sound at all unless you're animating a character. I know people who worked for months on Sweeney Todd who were very surprised to find out that it was a musical, though they did admit that "Johnny Depp had looked like he was talking a bit funny".

It's now a couple of hours after the screening and I'm glad I saw the film with the people I worked with. The film may not have been great but the people who worked on it are and I think it's them and the actual craft of making this stuff that floats my boat rather than simply how good or well-received the end product is. That said I do hope that one day I'm lucky enough to work on a truly great film.

My quick, capsule review of Hellboy 2 for anyone who hasn't already been would be that if you liked the first one, you might like this, it's OK for a B picture but don't go in expecting greatness. 5/10

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Blogger Churlita said...

Got it. I'll wait until it comes out on cable.

4:46 am  
Blogger booda baby said...

You are, as they who say these things say, biased.

Does a bias imply an inflation of opinion? I think so. Okay, then you're something like biased, but the opposite.

Danny Elfman's a good one to pair up with. Who's that other - oh. John Williams.

Re: Troy. It must have been a little disappointing, to be robbed of epic tuneage at the last second.

Is Hellboy competing with Dark Knight?

3:45 pm  

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