Re-Entering Book of Life: Land of the Remembered

Jorge Gutierrez spent considerable effort in designing and animating Manolo’s arrival in the “Land of the Remembered” with Reel FX. It’s one of the highlights of The Book of Life, which is in Oscar and Annie contention. We explore the making of this crucial moment with the first-time director, and you can view four exclusive clips below.

Bill Desowitz: The promise of the movie is built around Day of the Dead and the payoff is the beautiful “Land of the Remembered.” Let’s break down the making of this world in more detail.

Jorge Gutierrez: Even in the script, it was just assumed that this has to be huge and different and epic and expensive. And I remember just writing paragraph after paragraph describing this moment where he enters this realm that’s based on memories of everything that came before him: the whole history of Latin America and Mexico, Spanish, and colonial mixed with Aztec, Inca, and Mayan. But it couldn’t be scary, he had arrived to this place where there were no more worries or no more pain. He basically came to Mexican heaven.And so we started drawing, we started designing and all the buildings are smiling at him. The idea was that he was walking into a velvet painting, full of life and full of color. Everything in the development was pre-planned. We wanted no sharp corners, everything to be round, everything to be welcoming, the symbols everywhere are hearts and skulls and then hidden throughout are some guitar shapes, telling Manolo you’re in a place where you can be yourself.

BD: And what happened when you went to animate at Reel FX?

JG: The CG guys had a heart attack when we showed it to them and then slowly breaking it down.  And so you’ll see in the first clip, “Reveal of Set Geometry,” how Paul Sullivan, our art director, and I broke down what all these shapes were, which were Lego-style building blocks. And we built the whole land out of those. And then in the next clip, “Lighting Breakdown,” that’s where we built all this stuff and it felt dimensional even though the camera wasn’t going to do any crazy stuff.

Read the rest at Animation Scoop/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, Music, Oscar, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

Add a Comment