July 3, 2007

Hair-raising Effects in Hairspray by Intelligent Creatures

Toronto, Ontario - Toronto-based VFX studio, Intelligent Creatures Inc. has finished 55 shots for New Line Cinema’s Hairspray starring John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer.
This will mark the third time that New Line and IC have teamed up. New Line Cinema is bringing a feature-film adaptation of the Tony award-winning Broadway production Hairspray to life. Featuring new and original material based on John Waters’ 1988 cult classic about star-struck teenagers on a local Baltimore dance show, the comedy features a remarkable collection of talent, including John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, Allison Janney, Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago), and director Adam Shankman (Bringing Down The House). The new screenplay for Hairspray was written by Leslie Dixon (Freaky Friday, Outrageous Fortune). Hairspray is scheduled for a July 20, 2007 release.
IC's initial task was to provide on-set supervision for all of the show's effects, while at the same time developing some of the key looks for the film. From there, IC was entrusted to design and implement seamless effects that would help establish the 1960's look and feel of the show and help resolve some conceptual ideas that could not be achieved practically. The scenes IC worked on ranged from elaborate dance numbers shot on greenscreen to matte paintings of '60s backgrounds, billboards jumping to life with dazzling singers, crowd duplication, digital makeup and -- you guessed it --CG hairspray! To create this imagery IC used Maya for 3D, SynthEyes for tracking, and Eyeon Fusion for compositing.
© New Line Cinema. John Travolta and Nicole Blonsky in Hairspray.
IC has completed visual effects work on Weinstein Company’s “The Hunting Party” joining up again with Director Richard Shepard, and Disney’s “The Game Plan” directed by Andy Fickman.