FUEL had a great time working for Disney and VFX Supervisor John Berton Jr on the Adam Sandler family comedy Bedtime Stories, contributing over 90 effects shots for the film, including the signature ‘raining gumballs’ sequence.
This sequence required the addition of a huge number of CG gumballs to enhance those used on set. These needed to interact with the in-camera objects correctly: casting the right shadows and reflections; interacting with each other; vibrating the umbrella; and of course matching the existing gumballs. The interaction with Adam Sandler was carefully planned with John to ensure he was not obscured by the torrent in some camera angles but was still integrated enough with the effects.
By far FUEL’s the biggest challenge on the project was the fully-CG, 10-second timelapse shot showing the film’s Nottingham Hotel evolving and getting built up over a 30-year span. This shot took the entire length of the 3 month VFX schedule to complete.
“The shot includes greater LA in the background changing over a number of decades. It is a creative interpretation but we spent a lot of time investigating how the city had grown over that time,” Fuel’s supervisor Simon Maddison explains, “things like freeways being built, the increase in smog levels in the 80s, changes in street and air traffic, the construction of Century City.”
The lighting of the shot passes through a 36-hour cycle so every object had to be lit and have shadows and reflections etc, for daytime, dusk, night and morning. Also, the blur of traffic on the roads needed to evolve into the familiar timelapse streaks of light as night fell.
And now a shameless plug from VFX supervisor John Berton: “It was again a privilege and a pleasure to work with a team that is so responsive and so professional in demeanor. No matter how tough it gets, Fuel has always responded with a great positive attitude, wit, humour and results. I hope we can do it again soon.”