Backstage Interview: VISUAL EFFECTS

Backstage Interview: VISUAL EFFECTS

INTERVIEW WITH: Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer


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          Q.    Congratulations to all of you, of course.  But I would love to

                ask you a question.

                        (Speaking in German.)

          A.    (GERD NEFZER) (Speaking in German).

          Q.    I am from the German Press Agency. Congratulations to the whole

                team and, of course, for Gerd.  This is amazing.  The second

                Oscar after Blade Runner.  What were you going to say on the

                stage when the music came up?  (Speaking German) That was after

                the music.

          A.    (GERD NEFZER) I understood, I understood.

                Do I have all the time in the world to say it? No, I just

                wanted to thank you to my -- of course, to my lovely country,

                like Germany. I want to say a few words in German like

                (speaking German).

                And I want to definitely say thank you to Denis, to our

                director. It was just amazing to work with him.  He is such a

                great guy. I love him, I love him. I deeply love him. And I

                want to say thank you to my family, to my wife, Regina, to my

                daughter, Ilana, to my son, Luca, to my mother, to my

                father-in-law, Karl Metzer [phonetic], who brought me into the

                business 35 years ago, and to my really, really amazing German

                FX team, (Speaking German).

                So this is really a great group of filmmakers. Thank you.

          Q.    There's a strong German journalist.

                        Of course -- and this may be the last question for

                Gerd, but, I mean, c'mon.  Give it up for him. He had no time

                on the stage. Of course, I wanted to know, because you did have

                COVID, it was a very close race to get here. You just tested

                negative, I think, yesterday.  We talked.

                        So, of course, I wanted to know how you feel to be

                finally here, and maybe you can answer in German and a bit in

                English for the rest of the audience.

          A.    (GERD NEFZER) Okay, I will start in English. So we were tested

                positive last week, Friday, and it was my wife, and myself. And

                it was just a tough week, you know, if you're just at home with

                your wife, one week, in one room. It is really tough, I tell

                you. No. It was great.

                And then she was -- she was negative on Thursday, and I was

                still positive.  And my test was so bad, you know, that the

                chief of the testing company, we are friends now, you know.

                He said, "Oh, God, there's no chance that you make it on the


                And I booked another test on Friday, and he said, "I think you

                don't have to come."

                I said, "Yes, I will come."

                And then by surprise, Friday night, 9:00 p.m., he called me and

                said, "I do not understand, but you're negative. Your PCR test

                is negative."

                So I start to pack my suitcases. Then we went to the airport on

                Saturday. And then we did another test on Saturday here, and I

                was really going mad, because I thought if I am now positive

                again, it will be a nightmare, and my wife tried to calm me

                down.  And it was negative, and so I am here, and I am so

                thanks for them, and so, so happy.

                And now I have to say it in German again?

          Q.    Thank you.

          Q.    Hello. Massive congratulations.  I am a huge fan of visual

                effects. And my question is, is there a process that you used

                that was unique to the film, something that hasn't been used

                before technology-wise?

          A.    (Paul Lambert) There wasn't a specific technique, but it was

                more the approach.  It was more, you know, like, trying to find

                the best way to make the visual effects successful, you know.

                Like, for example, we tried to avoid green screen and blue

                screen, and we came up with using, like, a sand-colored screen.

                We shot our interior ornithopters on the highest hill in

                Budapest to try and get, like, strong daylight to replicate

                flying over the desert.

                We -- you know, it was all about trying to get the proper light

                so that when we did our visual effects, it looked correct. So,

                you know, for us, it was the most collaborative film, which,

                like -- we've -- we've ever been on.

                And usually, you get to collaborate with STUNS and that kind of

                thing. But because we collaborated with Greg, the

                cinematographer, with Patrice, the production designer, like,

                everything was -- everything was figured out six months prior

                to the actual shoot. So -- and I truly believe that that

                collaboration is what gave us the success in visual effects.

          Q.    Hey, it is Jazz Tangcay from Variety.  Tristan, this is a

                question for you.  Were you a fan of Frank Herbert's, novel, as

                a kid, and what was it like to be able to do the world building

                for this and working with Denis?

          A.    (TRISTAN MYLES) I was a fan, a reluctant fan to begin with. My

                dad made me read the book as a kid.  I think I was about 12

                when I read it the first time ‘round. The biggest book I've ever

                read and the only book I think I ever read with a glossary at

                the back.  But yes. I did read the book then, and I read it

                again I think in my 20s and again in my 30s.  I'm showing my

                age here. But yes.  I was a big fan of the book and the second

                book as well.

                And being invited to work again with Paul Lambert and Denis

                Villeneuve was amazing.  I was really excited to get into the

                world and build it in the unique style which Denis had in his

                mind. Yeah.  That was truly an honor.

                And getting a chance to go out on set as well and see these

                huge sets that they built and now into the deserts of Jordan as

                well to re-create the sand dunes of Arrakis was a fantastic


                It was amazing.

          Q.    I would like to ask the team the combination of special effects

                -- visual effects and special effects are very different.

                So [indiscernible] --

          A.    (PAUL LAMBERT) I think it is pivotal.  The approach is always,

                like, you never want to put somebody into a blue box and then

                try to figure it all out.  Having something practical --

                having something physical from Gerd is always the first


                Even if we end up changing it, having that -- that practical

                reference for us is key to making a believable visual effect.

                Otherwise, you spend way too much time trying to create

                something real, when, like -- when, like, you can use something

                real and then just expand on it. So yeah.  It is absolutely


          A.    (PAUL LAMBERT) Thank you so much.

Acceptance speech transcripts for the 94th Academy Awards are created by a team of transcribers in real time and with minimal editing, for the benefit of the press on the night. They may contain omissions and errors, especially in the spelling of names. Clips of winner acceptance speeches may be found on

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