Interview
Rock & Rule (Part 2)
Canada Trust Company/Unearthed Films
Emru Townsend: I'm looking at the sequence playing, and looking at some of the effects going by as the bouncer zaps the mutant. And of course the club scene is coming up with the Earth, Wind & Fire music sequence and all that.

Clive Smith: This club scene was actually shot on an aerial-image animation stand. An aerial-image is a combination projector and camera, and the focus of the image is midway between the camera lens and the table.

So those are the projection effects going on in the background, then.

Norm Stangel: Physically it's the back half of an optical printer with an animation rostrum.

Clive Smith: It's sort of an optical printer, it's the same technology.

Robin Budd: Are you guys still using that? [laughter]

Clive Smith: My gerbil uses it as a room divider. [laughter]

But at the time—I mean, I can't think of many features that were using anything like that. Maybe for commercials, you'd find that kind of equipment.

John Halfpenny: Like we said, everybody was pushing in new directions. The whole camera department was pretty keen to try some stuff.

Clive Smith: The thing is, there was no off-the-shelf software. Today, you look at stuff and you can recognize a lot of where it comes from, and what the program is. And that's what I mean by the fact that we were inventing things.

Lenora Hume: We were using a laser as well as an element to shoot background here.

How so?

Lenora Hume: We had a laser.

Anne Marie Bardwell: It was one of the visual...

Lenora Hume: To create the background.

John Halfpenny: I thought it was part of the smoke and mirrors for the investors. [laughs]

Larry Jacobs: Yeah, for that party. For that fundraising party.

Lenora Hume: [pointing at the whooshing light effect on the screen] That there is the laser.

Greg Duffell: It was shot on 35mm somewhere else?

Lenora Hume: We shot the laser and then projected it as aerial-image.

Laura Shepherd: You mean that all this animation had to be top, bottom lights, black mattes, every shaded piece of it?

Lenora Hume: Yes. Every single bit.

That's insane.

Laura Shepherd: You guys were doing more problem-solving. Someone in storyboard would come up with a concept or a really interesting look, and then—

Lenora Hume: Actually, I think what we did on that sequence was we painted the back of the characters white and used them as mattes.

John Halfpenny: Soft-matting.

Lenora Hume: So we didn't actually create an extra matte element. We just painted white paint on it.

Clive Smith: So they were opaque and backlit, they became—

Lenora Hume: Because they were backlit, it was fine, right. There was no top light on them at all when we photographed it.

Greg Duffell: You couldn't shoot it and the aerial image at the same time?

Lenora Hume: The aerial image became a film element that you then projected on and then its—

Greg Duffell: With the camera system you had you couldn't shoot the cels and the projected image at the same time.

Lenora Hume: No. You had to do it as a film element.
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