The Making of Movies

Whether it is catching the latest blockbuster hit with friends at the theatre, renting a heartfelt drama with a box of tissue handy, or shopping for DVDs/Blu-rays of a favourite film, movies are a great pastime.


For a long while, apart from the latest Hollywood gossip and the next blockbuster release date, I never really understood the movie industry or took time to realize the behind-the-scene collaboration needed to create these entertaining pieces of cinematic art. It was only until I attended a talk by Sharon Calahan, director of photography for Pixar’s animated film Ratatouille, in 2008 that I began to understand the complexity and grandeur of producing animated films. After visiting the film sets at Warner Brothers Studio and watching the documentary “Side by Side”, my eyes now watch movies with new appreciation.

Side by Side: The Science, Art, and Impact of Digital Cinema
Although the documentary focuses on the contraversial movement of cinematic development from film to digital media within the filmmaking industry, this piece produced by Keanu Reeves and Justin Szlasa also does a good job revealing the ins and outs of movie creation, film production and the teams that bring it all together.
The Art of Ratatouille
In 2008, Sharon Calahan gave a short talk about the visual style of Ratatouille at the Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH chapter. She recounted how some of the Pixar team traveled to Paris and took countless photographs of its cityscape, cobble stone roads, sewers and fine dining dishes at all times of the day, from dusk to dawn – capturing every essence of Paris. From the photos they brought back, the Pixar team then painstakingly attempted to recreate the atmosphere of Parisian life in the animated world of Ratatouille through art, programming code and computer graphics. The book, “The Art of Ratatouille”, is a nice and less technical approximation to the talk I attended. After seeing the art sketches and reading the book, I think you will also be amazed at the art of animated film making.
Warner Brothers Studio VIP Tour
After visiting the movies sets on your Warner Brothers Studio VIP Tour in Burbank, CA, you’ll leave with a glimpse into Hollywood at work, and become aware of the cinematic and set decoration tricks used to achieve weather and location “changes” without ever leaving the set.

Wishing you new movie experiences.

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