Creative work from Deluxe is visible at this year's Cannes Film Festival, with contributions from Deluxe companies on multiple films, including the highly-anticipated Netflix original Okja; the powerful indie mystery, Wind River; the dramatic short, "A Wake"; and the trans-gender-themed drama, They.
Netflix’s original film Okja, a Cannes Film Festival premiere, is the story of a young girl, Mija, who must fight to prevent a powerful company from abducting her best friend, a massive and gentle beast. Developed and produced by Plan B Entertainment, Lewis Pictures and Kate Street Picture Company in association with Netflix and starring Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and An Seo Hyun as “Mija,” the feature centers on a pig-like creature that is roughly 12 feet long, eight feet tall and weighs 12,000 lbs – a full CG creation by Deluxe’s Method Studios. Method VFX Supervisor Erik-Jan de Boer collaborated with Director Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer) from the early stages of production, refining the look and behavioral characteristics of the CG character.
The 10-minute drama, "A Wake", colored at Company 3's Chicago location by Senior Colorist Tyler Roth focuses on the emotional rollercoaster three friends go through following the death of a mutual friend. Set inside a Chicago bar, the threesome moves briskly through a powerful range of emotions while coming to terms with their loss. "It was a brilliant script," notes Roth. "It moves from contemplative to lighthearted joking to reminiscing to heated drama."
"A Wake", directed by Curtis Matzke, was shot by Jason Chieu, a cinematographer with whom Roth had worked on numerous commercial campaigns. "He shot with a Panasonic GH4 mirrorless camera mounted with an anamorphic projector lens through a regular 50mm lens. It looked really cool!" says Roth. "My work on the film was subtle. It was primarily about working with that [anamorphic] look and helping set a tone that looked natural while also conveying what the characters were feeling. It's a powerful film and it's very exciting that it got into Cannes."
The indeterminate pronoun, the singular "they", obscures gender but illuminates the theme of writer/director Anahita Ghazvinizadeh's They, which premiered at the festival. The film concerns the 14-year-old, known as J, who is moving through life in Chicago while undergoing hormone-blocking therapy to delay the onset of puberty.
Edited by Dean Gonzales of Beast, the film observes J's experiences and interactions with a variety of people. "It allows us, the audience, to watch J's relationships unfold in a realistic and genuine way," he says. Ghazvinizadeh, Gonzales notes, "edited all her previous films so this was a new experience for her. I'm so happy and proud of this film and I hope all who see it will feel the same." Flame artist Mark Anderson and designer Tobi Mattner, out of the same facility, also created some VFX shots for the film.
Wind River made such a strong impression on critics and audiences when it ran at this year's Sundance Film Festival that it also played at Cannes. The murder mystery shot in and around Park City, Utah and starring Jeremy Renner, was colored by EFilm's Mitch Paulson. Writer/director Taylor Sheridan chose Paulson primarily because of the colorist's work on the Sheridan-penned thriller, Sicario (director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC).
For this project, cinematographer Ben Richardson, "wanted to take a very 'film-like' approach. Ben loves that organic, traditional kind of look and I'm very comfortable working that way. I think it was a perfect way to take on this story."