For the opening of Final Destination 3, Picture Mill’s award-winning design team brilliantly blended a combination of 35mm live action, insert photography and 3-D computer graphics to create an ominous setting for the film. The New Line Cinema release was directed by James Wong and written by Wong and Glen Morgan.
Creative Director William Lebeda, who heads up Picture Mill’s design team, noted the number of elements necessary to create the mood-setting opening. “FD3 is a case of the total being greater than the sum of its parts… the combination of feature footage, special insert photography and the 3D design and animation come together seamlessly to really create the carnival atmosphere of the park. No one element alone would have been enough,” said Lebeda.
The prologue to Final Destination 3 begins with a scary night shot of an amusement park. Adding to the suspense were shots of working rides but no passengers. A wooden coin- operated fortune teller swings into action, hinting to movie-goers that time might have run out for several young park patrons. The camera pans slowly across tarot cards as ghostly graphics with colored atmospheres fade in and out. Intercut with 35mm footage from the film, ferris wheels spin wildly out of control as freak show images dissolve in and out of frame. The camera leads us back to the Fortune teller, where the sign asks, “Do you believe in Forturns?” A pinball is then put into play as the merry go round spins faster and faster. Now inside the pinball machine, the ball bounces passed the words “LUCK” and “FATE”, only to fall into the black hole of “DEATH”.
To create the creepy carnival mood, Picture Mill constructed a miniature amusement park set. According to Picture Mill art director Branford Berling, the shots of ferris wheel, roller coaster and park entrance were needed to establish where all the action, er, horror, would take place. “Everything takes place at the carnival, so we built a set fashioned after a real amusement park near Santa Cruz, Calfornia. We shot it in high def, then blended the scenes into some existing 35mm footage shot for the film. The fortune teller was a real antique, oufitted with specially designed tarot cards. The titles and graphics were inspired by that old blockwood “freak-show type” favored by artists at old-fashioned carnivals. The fortune teller segues to a pinball machine that was created with 3-D animation by our artist Jon Block. Jon created the scripts that had the pinball bounce around the board holes marked LUCK and FATE, into the DEATH hole, which then propells viewers right into the start of the film. If viewers look closely, they’ll see that this minute plus opening is full of clues as to each teenager’s ultimate fate.”
Picture Mill is located at 6422 Homewood Ave.,
Hollywood, Ca 90038. For more information contact Ty Van Huisen at 323-465-8800.
For more inforamtion please visit: www.picturemill.com
For Picture Mill:
Creative Director: William Lebeda
Executive Producer: Ty Van Huisen
Art Director: Bradford Berling
2D Animator: Grant Nellessen
3D Animators: Jon Block, Bryan Thombs and Brian Johnson
Editor: Kye Krauter
Compositer: Akemi Abe
Producers: Christina Hwang, Keith Bryant