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The Phantom, the green screens and some visual magic

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Shot entirely in HD with the Canon XL-H1 mixed with gorgeous super slow motion shots courtesy of the Phantom HD, Kallang Roar The Movie serves up a polished platter of sleek cinematography mixed with some very special effects in one bundle of great storytelling.

krsfx1.jpgFinished in post by Iceberg Design, VFX supervisor and animator Alfred Sim shares with us his work on the nostalgic film set in Singapore’s football glory days in the 70’s. Click on the photos to see the details in full HD quality!

The film started lensing in March and wrapped its shoot in May, so essentially we had only two months to complete the film’s visual effects, edit, colour correction and output for film lab. Given the time constraint in addition to the limited budget, the director, Cheng Ding An, and I, also serving as the film’s Post Manager, agreed that the visual effects should not overshadow the story.

krsfx2.jpgThough my part of the job occurs in post production, I made it a point to pay a visit to Kallang Stadium, where the film was shot, to do some test takes with the director and DP, David Foo . It was down on my shoulders to populate the 70,000 seats of the stadium, and it was important that I saw what the DP and director wanted in the vfx scenes.

krsfx3.jpgI managed a rough composition with the test background stadium shots and from there it was decided that we would shoot the stadium at different angles on different plates, and digitally modify them in post to match the moving shots. For the lock-off shots (shots that involve no camera movement), we would take a green screen of the actors and capture a clean background for compositing .

krsfx4.jpgKallang Roar’s first day of filming involved the green screen straight away, so on the first day the production team gathered a few groups of volunteers to shoot the plates that will form the crowd. We captured these people from different angles and shuffled them around and directed their actions, all done in front of a 30ft x 30ft green screen set up on the stadium seats.

krsfx5.jpgFrom there onwards, whenever there is a shoot requiring the green screen-ed talents, I would take the elements shot and modify them to match the scenes. There were two additional scenes that required us to go back to shoot digital stills of the stadium, plus some other scenes that required characters to be integrated via CG as well.

krsfx6.jpgAdding to the technical challenge was the Phantom HD camera, a digital camera that shoots up to a thousand frames per second , for slow-motion shots, and records directly onto a hard disk. It is the first time it was used in a Singaporean film, and we had the chance to use it for two days, which was fun! We shot the actors doing everything they could in football – running, falling and catching – we covered it all. Back in the post house, we combined the green screen shots of the audiences, the players, the ball plus the slow motion shots all together to great effect. The amount of planning and effort that were put into covering all the angles of the stadium plus the people meant that I could confidently piece all the elements together without the need for a reshoot.

krsfx7.jpgOverall the production crew did a splendid job in catering to the request from the post side, especially from me. The actors themselves were also accommodating, even when we asked them to perform falls and tackles at 2am. Now that the Kallang Stadium is to be torn down, it makes this film even more special as all of us gets the opportunity to capture the stadium’s solitude from within and recreate the Kallang Roar.

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