Definition April 2024 - Web


WORDS Katie Kasperson IMAGES Kevin Baker

A plane crashes into shark-infested waters and teeters on the edge of a trench; the passengers must find their way back to the surface before being pulled into the ocean’s abyss. This is the ambitious, adrenaline-pumping plot of survival film No Way Up , made possible partly by virtual production (VP). With Claudio Fäh as director and produced by both Annalise Davis and Steve Jelley, also the co-founder/co- CEO of Dimension Studio, No Way Up combines practical filmmaking with VP and VFX in a way that hasn’t quite been done before – or since. The movie was mainly shot inside a model aeroplane, which was then lowered into a water tank. “A plane crashing underwater, plus escape – that’s quite a huge challenge creatively and practically, so it was a massive collaboration,” states Davis. COMING UP FOR AIR Having teamed up with Dimension Studio and DNEG previously, Davis was keen

to work with them again on No Way Up – a project employing VP for its final sequence. “There was an ending in No Way Up which required us to shoot our lead actress (Sophie McIntosh) as she swam from the depths to the surface for a long time,” describes Jelley. “That’s something we realised we couldn’t shoot in the tank.” Due to physical limitations, paired with wanting an uninterrupted performance, Davis and Jelley opted for dry for wet, a filming technique which replicates the look and feel of being underwater. To do this, they used ROE Visual Black Pearl 2V2 on an LED volume. DOP Andrew Rodger shot the entire film on an ARRI ALEXA LF and Mini LF, with Caldwell Chameleon full-frame anamorphic primes. “We had an Unreal-based pipeline with a high-resolution plane model,” explains Jelley. “You can quickly get a sense of the lighting and dimensions of the trench, as well as much of the mechanics,” he adds, although the technology has drastically improved

Survival thriller No Way Up puts a twist on the traditional flight disaster film. Virtual production – handled by Dimension Studio and DNEG – plays an essential role in the gripping final sequence



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