Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

David Fincher's new film Zodiac comes out this weekend, but he's currently working on his NEXT film, The Curious Case of Benajmin Button, based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's about an odd romance between a woman of 30 and a man who, at 50, begins aging backwards. In the story, he's born an old man, though that may be changed for the film. Brad Pitt is playing Benjamin Button, Cate Blanchett is playing Daisy. The film is told as a story by an elderly Daisy to her granddaughter, who will be played by Julia Ormond (Legends of the Fall, Sabrina) much like the beginning of Edward Scissorhands. Tilda Swinton, Jason Flemyng, and Taraji P. Henson are also cast. Filming is in New Orleans, the Virgin Islands, Caribbean, and Los Angelos. The budget is set at $150 million.

The film will make use of a newly developed motion capture system called the Contour System. The Contour system requires actors to cover their faces and clothes with makeup containing phosphorescent powder that is not visible under normal lighting. In a light-sealed room, the actors face two arrays of inexpensive video cameras that are synchronized to simultaneously record their appearance and shape. Scenes are lit by rapidly flashing fluorescent lights, and the cameras capture light from the glowing powder during intervals of darkness that are too short for humans to perceive.

The captured images are transmitted to an array of computers that reassemble the three-dimensional shapes of the glowing areas. These can then be manipulated and edited into larger digital scenes using sophisticated software tools. Brad Pitt's ageing effects will be handled as such.

No comments: