Remco Mastwijk ran his company Filmmore, which is the visual effects for Oscar candidate Quo vadis, Aida? cared for, facing various challenges. In the film about the Fall of Srebrenica, for example, it had to appear as if a crowd of tens of thousands of people stood at the compound of the Dutchbat soldiers present.
“Srebrenica had to look like a war was raging. There was destruction, tanks drove through the streets”, Mastwijk explains in conversation with NU.nl.
Filmmore has been working with the producer of the film, N279, for years and that’s how she got the assignment. In practice this went as follows. The company was shown the script and received a briefing from the director clarifying which scenes needed visual effects. Then supervisor Stefan Beekhuijzen of the visual effects team left for Bosnia for eight weeks, where the film was shot.
Smart solutions within budget
According to Mastwijk, it is often a matter of looking for smart solutions that fit within the budget. “For example, you can build tanks in 3D, but the budget should have been much higher for that. In this case, there were a few tanks available that we were able to run in a different location. The supervisor then ‘cut out’ these and was able to do it. seem like many tanks were driving through the streets at the same time. “
A similar story applied to the crowd of 40,000 people gathered at the compound. “That was recorded with a group of people who were many times smaller. Groups of people had to move to different places with different clothes. On a sweltering lawn. From a digital point of view, this was the biggest challenge.”
The crowd outside the compound.
More than 150 shots with visual effects
After the shooting period, Filmmore’s work was not over yet. “In fact, it only started then”, says Mastwijk. “After the shoot, the film is edited and in the editing you always come across things that turn out differently than you had hoped.”
Ultimately there were in Quo vadis, Aida? over 150 visual effect shots with minor or major edits added. “For a film like this that is quite a lot, for a science fiction film with spaceships it is of course not much.”
For comparison, a production also edited by Filmmore: the film Girl, about a fifteen-year-old girl born in a boy’s body, contained up to 35 shots with visual effects.
All in all, a team of twenty people worked about 180 to 200 days on all the effects. “Fortunately there was time, we worked on it for quite a long time. Something like that goes in phases. At the end we get into what we crunch time then all shots must be delivered in perfection for the final color correction ”.