Inception wins Visual Effects Oscar – Backstage interview

‘Inception’ was an incredible feat in visual effects mastery, winning several technical awards including Best Visual Effects. Discover how the team made it this far, their view points on the trends affecting the industry and working with French artists.

Interview with Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Chris Corbould and Peter Bebb

I wondered, how does the excitement of winning an Oscar compare to the excitement of folding Paris in half?

Well, you know, they’re both dreamlike situations, and I have to say, I’m hoping I don’t actually ever wake up from this one.

You share the work with, you said a French special effects company. Can you give me more details?

It’s all visual effects for INCEPTION were made in London, England. We had an American miniatures company and then Chris worked with a number of different visual and special effects teams around the world, and all the visual effects were made in London.

And you had a French team working with you?

We actually had French artists working with us, yes.

So Inception was praised for marrying practical and post effects. Going forward as CG continues to improve, do you think that relationship will continue?

I hope so, yes, because I think that’s where you get the best possible results. If you’re always basing something in reality, it’s very important that everything in our film feel real all the time, that’s the story after all. But if you try to do that (unintelligible), I think you’re going to get a result that everyone can tell which was created in some sort of way, but I think the special effects are just as important as the visual effects.

In the last years the trend in visual effects has been to reward digital characters, and this is really old school in some ways. I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about how it feels to get some recognition for doing some stuff which seems to be a little bit out of fashion.

Well, you know, we do a lot of digital environments in the background, that’s where they’re supposed to be, the scenery was becoming part of the character of the film. I’d like to think of all Paris scenes as a character in their own right, so perhaps that’s what people recognize.

Just curious, I know you guys are perfectionists and I’ve seen the film several times. I certainly don’t see anything, but is there a special effects film that makes you go, ah, I wish we could just tweak that just a wee bit more at all?

Actually, no, I know you’d expect me to say that, but really I genuinely mean it. There you go. Exactly.

Inception trailer