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Helming Hollywood

Levin, who had experienced ups and downs in the entertainment industry in his previous life came to Hollywood in 1996 from 2014. It's a slow-paced novel. Unofficial translation of the novel by heracross. Raw version can be found at https://www.uukanshu.com/b/24330/. You can read advanced chapters on my Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/Sayonara816.

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342 Chs

The Technical Department

There is no hope for Hong Kong Kung Fu movies today, but the level of Yuen Woo-ping and the others still exists. If they can't find a job in Hong Kong, they can go directly to China or Hollywood. They can still work in these places.

In Levi's view, it is estimated that it is impossible to expect Hollywood's action directors to catch up with Hong Kong within ten years, and these ten years are enough for them to gain a foothold here.

Capable people don't have to worry about eating wherever they go. Even if the Yuen family goes elsewhere, they can still work. Similarly, the Hong family is disbanded now, and if there is a suitable opportunity in the future, they can also pick up kung fu movies. However, if you don't have this ability and are just opportunistic, then forget it.

Seeing the people in Yuen's class teaching Hugh Jackman, Levi nodded in satisfaction, and while watching the fight, Levi also thought of other things.

"Speaking of which, it suddenly occurred to me... Wasn't Kate Beckinsale also asked to come here to learn martial arts performances? Why haven't I seen her?"

Most of the characters in the X-Men don't need to learn to fight, but a few people still have to carry out this training. In addition to Wolverine, Mystique is also a character with more fighting scenes. Since Beckinsale wants to play this role, she naturally has to learn action acting.

Hearing this, Levi thought of something, "I know this. They made her a special costume. Her role is special, and the costume is specially made."

Of course, Levi knew about Beckinsale; that is, He had just ordered the special effects department two days ago. He didn't expect them to make it so quickly.

In the movie, Beckinsale played Mystique. Compared with Hugh Jackman, who now has to exercise daily, control his diet, learn to fight, and even deliberately dehydrate and strengthen his muscle lines during performances, Beckinsale's work is even more tiring. It can even be said that in the entire crew, the most tiring one has to be Beckinsale.

She needs two hours a day for exercising and keeping herself in shape and about eight hours for makeup so that she can string together a Mystique outfit. This has not counted the preparation time for the performance in the movie, the time for removing makeup, the training time, as well as the prohibition of drinking or using cosmetics in order to hang patches on the body, touch the coating, and the sequelae caused to the skin because she has to be half naked during the makeup process.

It means she has to sit in a closed dressing room for eight hours a day and let a makeup artist do her makeup. It is also a big psychological problem.

There are a large number of deformation effects that need to be involved in the production. She has quite a lot going on. Levi knows that studying these things may be more expensive than giving her a salary increase, but in Levi's view, this is very necessary.

Actors are paid industry standards. Even if Levi is already famous, it is inconvenient to add and subtract by yourself.

However, out of concern for actors, this approach is appropriate for promoting film development and researching new technologies. And they seem to have found a way quickly. This confused Levi, whether they hadn't thought about what to do before or there was no way.

"In this case, I will also go to the special effects department to see how their special effects are prepared."

Hearing that they had prepared the special effects so quickly, Levi couldn't help but want to go and see. After all, in this movie, in addition to the fighting part, the special effects part is also very important, and it is the part with the largest investment.

Levi heard people's whistles when he entered the special effects department. And after he entered the room, he couldn't take his eyes off.

Beckinsale is here to try on clothes - right now, she's wearing Mystique's undergarments specially made for her. This dress directly covered her entire body from the neck down, making decorating those hanging pieces and colors unnecessary, which is much more convenient.

However, Levi believes that the reason why people whistle here is more because of Beckinsale's beautiful figure in these tights.

"Hello, Mr. Levi."

Seeing Levi, Beckinsale greeted Levi very generously and, at the same time, raised her hand and turned around so that Levi's eyes could better see her costume.

Levi carefully looked at the blue skin for a long time before opening his mouth again, "Kate, I have to say, even such blue skin can't hide your beautiful figure. Is it easier to put on makeup now than before?"

"Fortunately, it took eight hours to finish makeup before, but now it can be done in about two hours. Only facial makeup is much easier..." Beckinsale accepted Levi's compliment with a smile and then began to talk to Levi, "Actually, if you can design a headgear on the face, it might be easier? Maybe you don't even need to remove makeup..."

"This is impossible. If you use headgear, how can we capture the expression on your face? You are playing a living person, and you must have expressions. Now it is easier to just dye the skin. We use facial muscles to simulate the characters' facial expressions, which can present your facial expressions well, but it won't work if you wear a headgear..."

Beckinsale's words made the staff on the side speak immediately. The boss and beauty were in front of them, and the technicians didn't talk too much at first, but their self-confidence emerged when it came to technology. There was no room for compromise on technical issues, and they immediately started talking endlessly.

"Facial motion capture technology, is it still unsuccessful?" Hearing his words, Levi cut him off with one question.

This made the staff stop talking, "Still researching, this technology is immature, and it can't be put into use yet..."

Levi nodded and didn't say anything else. But what he said made the staff stop talking. Obviously, unqualified technology is more uncomfortable for these technicians than anything else.

Actually, Levi's special effects company is pretty good now, but it is far from Levi's requirements.

For example, in the makeup of Mystique, Levi, who has seen the facial simulation under the motion capture technology in the future, is naturally not satisfied with the facial muscle simulation technology. What Levi hopes is the most realistic human expression, but the expression simulated by the computer is still a little bit worse.

In movies, there has always been a saying about the uncanny valley: this means that if a prop is not very human-like, even if there are some flaws, people won't think it's a big deal. People will still think it's normal for robots to have a variety of shapes. And if a prop is very human-like, then the slightest difference will make people feel terrible. That's why those highly simulated dolls always make people feel horrified.

Levi naturally wanted the mutants in his film to be very realistic, and it wouldn't be good if there was an uncanny valley effect.

Therefore his investment in movies is not small. Generally speaking, if movies' special effects are not particularly demanding, the special effects for one minute are less than 10,000 US dollars.

In films like X-Men, the special effects are very complicated: from Wolverine stretching out his claws and the transformation of Mystique to the large-scale display of Storm or Magneto's abilities, all of these rely on special effects.

These special effects are not long, and there is nothing special to pay attention to. Levi hoped to let them put more effort into facial motion capture and do better.

This is also where Levi is more concerned about the X-Men in his memory. The special effects were not very good, the art style was chaotic, and the special effects production also lacked highlights, but when Levi was making it, he didn't want the movie to be like that.

He hopes that the movie's special effects can be more distinctive: Levi hopes the special effects of X-Men can be done better.

Unexpectedly, even with such a large investment, it still won't work. Levi frowned slightly at this situation.

Their own company is aware of the situation. They invited award winners in science to conduct software development and a dedicated computational physics team to develop calculation programs. Levi also knows this. But after so long, their new technology is still immature. This also gave Levi a headache.

Levi originally thought that he had invested and the speed of progress could be very fast: the special effects technology of movies is based on technological conditions: it stands to reason that the physical formulas of movie special effects were all calculated by humans in the 18th century, and the technology has initially matured. It was also completed in the 1980s, and the restrictive condition for further development was the capital.

Levi's investment is large enough that he thought it could be accomplished quickly, but who knows, the gap is still huge.

"Keep working hard. If it doesn't work, I'll hire someone else."

Levi knew that even if he didn't show up in the technical department, he would often invite mathematics and physics computing teams from various universities to exchange knowledge.

Self-confidence and arrogance are two different things, "If it doesn't work, I'll go to Disney and ask their computing team to come over."

Levi knows that Disney also has many technical departments for producing cartoons, and they have as many as six teams in the mathematical calculation department alone.

If things don't work, it's also a good idea to ask them to come over and help.

"But we're making a real movie. Will Disney come to help?" the special effects staff asked in a low voice.

"It's just a matter of owing a favor. I believe I have a way to get them to help."

*****

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