Visuals continue to challenge, reward
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, the third instalment of the series that began in 2012, brings back all the favourite characters and puts them on an ocean cruise. Naturally, things don’t go swimmingly.
Besides having Count Dracula (Adam Sandler), Mavis Dracula (Selena Gomez), Jonathan “Johnny” Loughran (Andy Samberg) and the full cast of supporting monsters on board, the film introduces Ericka Van Helsing (Kathryn Hahn), Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan), Crystal (Chrissy Teigen) and The Kraken (Joe Jonas).
From the familiar confines of the mountaintop namesake hotel to the open oceans and points beyond, the movie marks another major feature to be completed out of the busy Vancouver-based Sony Pictures Imageworks.
“I worked on the first one seven years ago and I’m really excited to have this one come out,” says visual effects (VFX) supervisor Michael Ford.
For instance, putting the characters on a cruise ship means there’s water. Animators don’t like water.
“You have to put the water through a water simulation software — which actually does mathematical calculations to get you a reaction appropriate to that of real water,” Ford says.
“Anything that you see, from smoke, water or anything that moves in every frame, involves VFX,” says Ford. “In total, about 75 per cent of this film involves effects. That’s a lot of work, no pun intended, to float the boat.”