Baz Luhrmann is known for his strong, precise vision, so the many concepts developed by our art department became fundamental to this project. Pre-visualization was requested at every stage, with the director signing off on each before moving forward. Because conceptualization was required throughout the life of the project, the pipeline of concept art to VFX was unusually fast and engaging. The concepts proved extremely useful. Luma’s VFX team constantly referred back to our art department’s initial sketches for inspiration and guidance, the concepts becoming a de facto blueprint for other departments to reference throughout production. The success of these mockups can be attributed to the team’s studious approach—they utilized geometry, scans, on-site photography, and street data from Google to bring the meticulous vision to life, right down to capturing exactly where certain trees were planted at that time, at that location.
This need for accuracy and detail also brought Luma out to the Hollywood Sign to capture more reference data. Team members from the LA office went on location at sunrise and conducted extensive photography of the hillside around the Hollywood sign and of the valley below. The photogrammetry and panoramas they produced were essential to the success of the sequence, forming the basis of all DMP work.