Contact (1997)

Contact (1997)


First CGI blue screen image warp

contact 1997
Original poster

Video (HD 1080p)

CGI making of

1) Special effects team included Sony Pictures Imageworks, Peter Jackson's Weta Digital (Peter Jackson is credited as "additional visual effects artist"), George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, and Effects Associates, with Pixar's RenderMan used for CGI rendering. Weta Digital, in particular, was responsible for designing the wormhole sequence.Jodie Foster admitted she had difficulty with blue screen technology because it was a first for the actress. "It was a blue room. Blue walls, blue roof. It was just blue, blue, blue," Foster explained. "And I was rotated on a turntable with the camera moving on a computerized arm. It was really tough."
2) One notable feature of Contact is its use of digital color correction. This approach helped solve continuity errors during the location shooting at the "Very Large Array" (radio astronomy observatory) in New Mexico. "The weather killed us, so we were going back in and changing it enough so that the skies and colors and times of day all seem roughly the same," visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston commented.
3) One sequence, with young Ellie running upstairs to try to retrieve her father's medicine, appears to have Ellie running just behind a camera as they move into the bathroom, but the shot resolves to show that this had been part of the medicine cabinet's mirror reflection, pulling back to have Ellie open it. This sequence is noted as one of the film's most impressive visual effects due to the seamlessness of the transition. According to Carin-Anne Strohmaier, the first assistant film editor, the shot was created through three different plates, digitally manipulated in CGI to create the effect: one plate was from the cameraman leading Ellie, the second of Ellie opening the cabinet door (which was a blue screen instead of a miror), and the third of the reflection of Ellie and her dad when the door closes.Initially, they had planned to use an effect similar to bullet time from The Matrix to show Ellie's father stopped in time as he dies, but as the movie was being filmed, they found that this approach would not fit the casting or direction the film was going, but they still wanted something that the audience would recognize as off-putting and without having to show Ellie's dad, leading to the development of this mirror sequence.
3) Directed by Robert Zemeckis (watch also his films Death Becomes Her The Polar Express Forrest Gump Tales from the Crypt - You, Murderer,  Beowulf).