In Scorsese’s “The Irishman”, the special effects are the work of this Frenchman

“The Irishman” is finally & nbsp;left empty-handed.& nbsp; A disappointment for the French Stéphane Grabli, vying for the “best special effects”, but which is tempered by the technical prowess that represents the feature film, without forgetting the collaboration with director and legendary actors. “data-reactid =” 31 “> CULTURE -“ It is rare for a film project with a director like Martin Scorsese, where technology is so crucial to history. ” Named in ten categories at the Oscars, “The Irishman” is finally left empty-handed. A disappointment for the French Stéphane Grabli, vying for the “best special effects”, but which is tempered by the technical prowess that represents the feature film, without forgetting the collaboration with director and legendary actors.

on Netflix, it took 8 months of shooting… and four years of work for the Light and Magic Industry team (ILM), in charge of special effects. “Pablo Helman, special effects supervisor for Irish The Irishman’ worked with Martin Scorsese on ‘Silence’. They were talking about this project and Pablo said it was potentially something we could try ”, tells the HuffPost Stéphane Grabli, research and development engineer at ILM and “facial capture supervisor” for the Scorsese film. “Data-reactid =” 32 “> To make“ The Irishman ”available on Netflix, it took 8 months of shooting… and four years of work for the Light and Magic Industry team (ILM), in charge of special effects. “Pablo Helman, special effects supervisor for Irish The Irishman’ worked with Martin Scorsese on ‘Silence’. They were talking about this project and Pablo said it was potentially something we could try ”, tells the HuffPost Stéphane Grabli, research and development engineer at ILM and “facial capture supervisor” for the film by Scorsese.

to get Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci from 30 to 80 years old during the movie. Unlike Mark Ruffalo’s transformation into a Hulk, where the actor finds himself on the set “in motion-capture pajamas with dots on the face and helmet”, Martin Scorsese immediately ruled out anything that could hinder the game of its favorite actors. “data-reactid =” 33 “> The project in question is the famous technique of“de-aging” which allows to get Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci from 30 to 80 years old during the movie. Unlike Mark Ruffalo’s transformation into a Hulk, where the actor finds himself on the set “in motion-capture pajamas with dots on the face and helmet”, Martin Scorsese immediately ruled out anything that could hinder the play of his favorite actors.

“This is a film that does not lend itself to capturing with headphones. There are a lot of very intimate scenes, it wouldn’t work physically, ”confirms Stéphane Grabli. Undoubtedly, the frequent exchanges in low voices, almost forehead against forehead, between Frank Sheeran and Russell Bufalino would have been very embarrassed by such a device on the heads of the two actors.

“Scorsese had a very precise expectation of what it should be”

All this, painlessly for the audience, but also for the actors who – on the express orders of the director – should never have to worry about technical constraints. And especially (especially!) That their game is not changed.

For the director, the question was quite settled: “Martin Scorsese was always more to preserve the performance, rather than moving away from it to have a result that might look a little younger”, says Stéphane Grabli. “There have been a few round trips to find the middle ground.”

Silence, it turns!

As the engineer tells us, most of the work for the special effects took place far from the film sets, at ILM’s premises in San Francisco.

“There are several parts where we are in contact with the actors,” he said, however. The first is done during a session where the actors are “scanned”, to “capture their geometry, texture, expressions, at their current age”. Then, Stéphane Grabli spent two weeks on the set to ensure the proper functioning of the two additional cameras installed to compensate for the absence of motion-capture headsets. “Then I went back to ILM to continue to prepare the arrival of the plans.”

Stéphane Grabli, far right, February 10 at the Résidence de France in Los Angeles. (Photo: Faye Sadou / French Consulate in Los Angeles)

From this filming between legends of the big screen, Stéphane Grabli will amuse the silent atmosphere demanded by the director. “A shoot with Martin Scorsese is a shoot that is very quiet, because he wants everything to be very quiet. So we have big teams, but everyone works in silence, “laughs the engineer, who recognizes a certain” pressure “between” iconic “actors and a” revered “and very” involved “director.

“During postproduction, we had meetings with him every week. He’s very involved, he’s going to comment… It’s classic from the directors, but it was an interesting experience to work with him. ”

Besides, Oscars or not, Martin Scorsese was visibly “happy” with his film, at least with regard to the special effects. Just like Stéphane Grabli who sees in the technique developed a “step towards the future”… who has been emulated. According to the engineer, two other films using the process are already on the carpet.

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HuffPost.“data-reactid =” 76 “>This article originally appeared on HuffPost.