Baraka Post Production in Soho created the special effects for Richard E Grant new film debut titled ‘Wah Wah’. The film was directed and written by Richard E Grant with a title chosen to portray the incomprehensible manner in how affected British ex-pats spoke, a silly babyish way of talking called ‘Wah Wah’. Senior Editor and Joint MD at Baraka, David Cox completed all of the special effects for ‘Wah Wah’ at Baraka using Mistika. The main task was to remove labels from the bottles of a well-known whiskey brand name and replace it with an alternative in the film. This called for dedication as the labels had to appear realistic as if they were pasted on a 3D bottle of whiskey. The labelled bottles appeared in a number of scenes in the film and therefore had to be carefully altered. Richard E. Grant personally met David Cox in the editing suite at Baraka and discussed the film and the effects with the team at Baraka.
‘The labels looked fantastic and Richard was extremely happy as was Jeff from Scion. You did a brilliant job. Thank you Baraka from Richard and myself. We hope to work with Baraka again in the near future. Again Baraka, thank you for giving our nightmare a happy ending!!’ stated the team at Zephyr Productions.
“Replacing the whiskey bottle labels was tricky because the reason for the replacement was legal rather than creative, meaning that the shots were never intended to have any special effects work carried out on them. The bottles with the offending labels generally appeared in scenes where the bottle was being aggressively shaken, thrown or even rinsed under running water! So this provided a unique set of tracking and compositing challenges. We started by creating a 2D whiskey bottle label that we later used Mistika to wrap around three sides of the bottle. We then 3D-tracked all the bottle movements and composited the new labels adding lighting effects, motion blur and water effects as required. All the tracking and compositing was carried out in Mistika on the supplied 2K DPX file sequences, before being printed back to 35mm film.” David Cox explains.
‘Baraka did a seamless job of CGIing and replacing whiskey bottle labels in my film ‘Wah-Wah’ at very short notice and with great professionalism.’ Commented Richard E. Grant.
‘Wah-Wah’ is set in Richard’s homeland of Swaziland and is a semi-autobiographical story focusing on his dysfunctional family life. The film is a semi-autobiographical ‘coming of age at the end of an Age’ story, told through the eyes of young Ralph Compton (the character based on Richard). It is set during the last gasp of the British Empire in Swaziland in1969, and the plot focuses on the Compton family whose gradual disintegration mirrors the end of British rule. As an 11 year old, Ralph witnesses his mother’s adultery with his father’s best friend who is married to ‘Auntie’ Gwen (played by Julie Walters), which results in his parents divorcing and Ralph being sent to boarding school. His father, Harry Compton, not only loses his wife and best friend, but he also loses his position as Minister of Education with the coming of Independence, prompting his rapid descent into alcoholism. At 14 Ralph – who is played by Nicholas Holt (‘About a Boy’) from now on – returns home to discover that his father has re-married an American ex-Air hostess called Ruby (played by Emily Watson) whom he has known all of six weeks! Not the done thing in this very ‘well-to-do’ society. Ruby ridicules the petty snobbery of Colonial life by identifying Colonial-speak, for example ‘toodle-pip’, as sounding like a load of old ‘Wah-Wah’. Although Ralph is initially wary of Ruby, he bonds with her as his father’s drinking escalates dangerously out of control.
‘Wah-Wah’ will be released in cinemas on Friday 2nd June 2006.
Baraka turns 10 years old this year, 2006 is Baraka tenth year celebrating the company success and achievements. View the new website at: www.Baraka.co.uk
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