Definition February 2024 - Web


S eldom does a series achieve the level of praise synonymous with the cinematic brilliance of the Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino. However, Boat Story has precisely earned this accolade. The distinctive six-part thriller, produced for BBC One and Amazon Freevee by Two Brothers Pictures (known for The Missing and Fleabag ), has entranced viewers with its seamless blend of playful irony and gripping intensity. The narrative follows Janet and Samuel, both hard-up strangers, who stumble upon a huge amount of cocaine aboard a boat and agree to join forces in its sale. As they attempt to profit from their find, the pair become embroiled with law enforcement, masked assailants and a sophisticated gangster called The

PRACTICAL MAGIC Beattie also explains the biggest

Tailor. The punchy cast features Daisy Haggard, Paterson Joseph, Tchéky Karyo, Joanna Scanlan, Craig Fairbrass and Phil Daniels. Two Brothers Pictures founders Harry and Jack Williams wrote and co- directed the series. This also marks the fifth time the production company has called on the services of Vine FX to work on one of its series, with the latter brought on board – pun intended – early in the process. “We were liaising with producer Matthew Bird, who we have worked with before, on how to tackle the CG ocean and boat shots to get the best out of VFX,” says Kaitlyn Beattie, VFX producer. “We provide solutions to clients, advising on what we would consider the best approach to execute their vision. Between creative director Michael [Illingworth] and on-set supervisor Sam [Highfield], we were able to attend shoots and ensure there was enough coverage of in-plate footage to not solely rely on CG recreation.”

technological and creative challenges the team faced – and how they were overcome. “The boat in Boat Story was a crucial element that was shot, for the most part, practically on a stage with a motion rig,” she continues. “The technique across shots varied – in three instances we needed to replace the entire studio set with a fully simulated ocean. In other shots, we used our CG ocean to create crashing waves and a tumultuous current, complementing the stormy movement of the rig.” Beattie says that, for VFX artists, “a practical element is enormously helpful because it gives references for lighting and scale.” That meant when it came to creating the 3D geometry or interactions, the team had something realistic with which to work and react. “We built the boat in Maya and simulated the ocean itself in Houdini, all rendered using

ALL ABOARD This shot gave the Vine FX team particular pride, seamlessly integrating VFX



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