[dropcap]S[/dropcap]cott Farrar received an Oscar® nomination for Best Visual Effects for his work on “Transformers.” He is the visual effects supervisor on “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” He is also known for his work on “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (1983), “The Hunger Games “(2012) and “Jurassic Park” (1993).
EXTRA talked to Farrar to find out the secret behind making those amazing transformers come alive on the screen.
EXTRA: What do we need to know about the new Transformers movie?
Scott Farrar: This film is a start of a trilogy and it is a continuation. The biggest enemy isn’t war but extinction with a brand new cast and brand new robots. It gave us the chance to be extremely creative, really pushed character animation, and the digital set.
How do you get an actor to talk to a robot?
The robot isn’t there. We use giant model pieces of pan for the actors to use. We have people on the set so that the cameramen can follow where the robot will be later. That’s a big secret. We have much more exciting backgrounds that we shot in this film in Chicago and Hong Kong with new cameras. We got some amazing chase sequences in the cities.
What did you think of Chicago?
Chicago’s architecture is fabulous. The advantage is that you can get these beautiful images with real buildings, which is normal for Michael Bay pictures. He likes real things instead of making computer graphic cumulated cities.
How long does it take to design one robot (transformer)?
Everything starts with still frames of art work, locations and Photoshop designs. Then we take two-dimensional work and turn it into three-dimensional work. It takes about 15 weeks for one robot but that doesn’t include the skeleton that holds all the thousand pieces together. There are almost 11,000 pieces held together in him. It is easy 30 weeks before the robot is ready to be put in a shoot. This past year is when we started most of the post production. It takes a lot of work to make this work. I think people have been on this film over a year and a half. We are constantly improving the look.
What are some of the challenges you had to face?
Makings sure the metal robots work as real as possible. We had some very challenging locations to shoot in. Trying to shoot an IMAX film with large syntactic format on computers but still shoot in the real world—that is part of the fun.
How do you feel about the final product?
It’s overwhelming and very exciting. The people will be blown away. It has so much production value—great script, great plot. It really is about loyalty, friendship and love, heroes and villains, the good and bad guys, and it’s all about a new trilogy that is starting. The main thing is that I think this will be an appealing story to all. It is an epic story with a good dose of action but a lot of heart. It is a great summer time popcorn movie, hugely entertaining.