Furnishing Miller’s Spartan vision

Effects supervisors add digital elements to '300'

When visual effects supervisor Chris Watts started working on “300,” he realized his department would be setting elements of scenes in some unusual ways.

“We were adding so many things — from the embers in the battles and moving clouds that would be flying around in some scenes to creatures and water work when the ships were out on the sea,” says Watts. “It was a great feeling when we started to show temporary composites to the actors so they could start to see how it was going to look.”

Watts worked with production designer James D. Bissell and d.p. Larry Fong to find ways to use pieces on set to help with compositing later.

“We had modular sets that we moved around and bluescreens — and we were cutting together with live action,” says Watts. “And we were trying to put that all together in a way that didn’t look weird and respected Frank Miller’s book.”

Watts says different departments on set have to be open to solving problems together, especially as technology changes.

“The thing is that we’re all there for the same reason,” says Watts. “We’re there to help tell a great story.”

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