May 25, 2022

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Spider-Man: No Way Home sound effects wizards couldn’t see the memes coming

Spider-Man: No Way Home sound effects wizards couldn't see the memes coming

By the time Marvel finally came up with a use of Spider-Man: There is no room for homeThe trio of Spider-Men’s Recreate the meme spider-man pointingThe Spider-Man fandom has already taken matters into its own hands and turned Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock into the star of the movie by way of the unintentional comedy. Although the movie Oldest trailers It was meant to baffle fans who didn’t yet know the multiple details that would bring Molina Doc Ock face to face with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, and they also ended up launching a flurry of jokes that enrage one of Spider-Man’s most serious villains.

Given the amount of planning that goes into Marvel features, one can get the impression that it’s all about him There is no place for homeStartup, from instant jump to speculation about characters released from trailers to Rise of Doc Ock memesIt was part of Marvel’s grand plan. But when we recently spoke with Scott Edelstein, VFX Supervisor for Digital, one of the production houses that worked on There is no place for homeexplained that while the studio runs a tight ship with meticulous coordination, he and the rest of his team have had little sense of how the audience handles and remixes their work.

Paula Newsom as Assistant Vice President of MIT and Tom Holland as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Digital Domain / Marvel Studios & Digital Domain / Marvel Studios

It was brought up in two other conversations, and I wanted to ask you. How has your experience been since working from home became the norm for many visual effects professionals during the pandemic?

Scott Edelstein: It enabled this work-life balance that we didn’t… It’s not the easiest thing in this industry, you know? For me personally, I’ve been driving for an hour and a half each way, so I spend three hours of my day in the car. This setup really allows me to wake up in the morning and be able to sit down at 7 am with a cup of coffee and go through emails in the morning. By the time the team gets in, they already know what they have to do, and I can start getting my kids’ mornings started, and it has really changed a lot. I just – I think it made things more efficient, and I don’t see how we’ll ever go back.

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Efficiency how?

When you talk about driving into a show, roughly 80 percent of their day goes from one meeting to the next, running around the block talking about these things. When you’re doing it all over Zoom, you’re not rocking around trying to get into every different meeting room. While you’re in those Zoom meetings, you’re still working, and you’re attentive, but you don’t always have to contribute 100 percent of the time.

I got it.

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in meetings with a lot of people where we talk about things, and actions are taken during the meeting. Before the meeting ended, things were already done, and I had already looked at and agreed to them, whereas before people had to go back to their desks an hour later, and then go in, and and then Wait for the next meeting to show you.

Was that your experience with There is no place for home?

Partially, yes. For me, it’s part of what was so cool working on There is no place for home It was a daily review process. Usually in the office, we go to the screening room, sit there, watch and talk about all the shots, give feedback. Normally, we would be in the front row in a dark room, and you would stay there for many hours a day. Artists kind of filter in the back, and you’ll see their shots, and you talk about them with the laser pointer on the screen. But you don’t spend a lot of time with people this way because there are a lot of people out there.

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right.

With There is no place for homeWe’ve probably had 200 artists on the project, and what I found was really cool about working from home and Zoom meetings like that like what we’re doing right now. [gesturing towards the camera]

Like when I’m talking to an artist about a shot, I’m not in a dark room in the front row, and they’re in the back. I look at them, and we’re having a conversation about their work. I think this is very cool. You can say whatever you want about the personal side of it and how it’s a creative environment and how being together helps you have that kind of back-and-forth commute. But I think there are other ways to do it, and I think the pandemic has shown us that we maybe Do it from home.

Alfred Molina and Tom Holland on the set of “Spider-Man: No Way Home”.
Digital Domain / Marvel Studios & Digital Domain / Marvel Studios

What are some concepts about Doc Ock’s physicality that I really wanted to highlight in the bridge fight scene that might not have been entirely technically feasible in 2004 for spider man 2?

Our approach was to watch old movies because we really wanted to honor them. We wanted the arms to appear in a similar way but we also wanted to bring new technology into the mix to give them more personality. Because of the way movies like this are shot, sometimes we’ve had Alfred Molina on the wires, other times, he’s standing on a platform that lifts him up. For the most part, it ended up being more comfortable standing on this platform not just hanging out. We always replaced him from his neck down because we had to replace all his legs and his jacket because the long overcoat he wears gets wrapped over things or stuck in things.

So we kept his head almost the entire time, but then you have to talk about his weight, his movement, and how you make it look like it’s not just floating. We have paid a lot of attention to anchoring it in a little reality. So he has four arms, but we had to make sure he wasn’t just standing on one of them while he was also leaning out and carrying a car, you know? Shifting the weight the way he walked had to make sense that it felt like a heavy piece of machinery was crawling around.

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Talk to me about the internal logic you have developed for how Otto interacts with his claws and how they move and behave.

So, there are a few things that go into this. For one thing, their interior lights change color depending on who’s controlling. If you watch the old movie you kind of get it although the continuity of that probably wasn’t very strong, but in this movie we really wanted to pay attention. When the lights inside are red, it means his slice is fried, so the AI ​​of the arm is 100 percent in control. Under the bridge, when Spider-Man takes over the nanotechnology, the lights turn blue because he’s now controlling it, like a Bluetooth connection. And then in the movie, when the chip is fixed and Doc Ock takes charge again, it’s white, which is a nod to the original. spider man 2 When Otto first put on the arms.

Something Kelly Port, VFX General Supervisor, told us from talking to Alfred on time There is no place for home is that Alfred gave the arms an old name back in the day so he could, in his mind, give them a character like, you know. So the upper arms were Moe and Flo, and the lower halves were Larry and Harry. The idea that we kind of ran with is that Moe and Flo – the upper arms – are kind of more planning-oriented. They’re the ones who kind of connect with Otto because they’re smart. You can see moments on the bridge squabbling where you notice that they are looking around and maybe talking to him or planning with each other about what to do.

You can see some of that with Otto when everyone gets together at Happy’s apartment.

It’s a little more subtle, but yeah, you kind of see the interaction between Moe, Flo, and Doc Ock. Tentacles are attentive, but they are also searching and almost make eye contact with Doc Ock. Moe and Flo follow what’s going on in the room, but Larry and Harry – the two guys below – sort of upright or on the floor provide balance. Larry and Harry are like a muscle, and they execute the plan. They usually walk around it, and a lot of times, when things get thrown or squashed, Larry and Harry do that kind of thing.

With a project like this, where there is a lot of blue screen, there are many different moving parts that all have to fit together to create a pseudo-reality. Is meme-ing a factor in your creative process at all?

I wish I could say we’ve had time to really think about a lot of that, but when you’re at it, there’s very little time, and you’re just in that little box. Our primary focus is to make all of this appear as real as possible. You have these blinders and you try to make them look as real and cool as you can make them. I guess if I’m aware of anything, it’s just “this move doesn’t look good” or “it doesn’t feel real” or “this character wouldn’t do that”. But in terms of preconceived notion yet what memes might come out of, we don’t really.

We can’t really see or think about the fans’ reaction until it comes out. It’s fun watching people interact with trailers and come up with theories about things because you’re in it. You make those scenes, you release these trailers, and sometimes you don’t finish. Sometimes it won’t be the same as the action shot that will go into the final movie. But you hear these theories about, like, where did Doc Ock get nanotechnology. “What’s he doing with all that nanotech on his arms? He obviously took it from Tony Stark. He’s going to make himself stronger, and he’s going to be so cool!” Meanwhile, we’re sitting there all the time like, “No, Spider-Man is taking over his body.”