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Eagle's View Report
Oscar-Nominated VFX Supervisor
Roger Guyett on Ready Player One

By Barbara Robertson | Film & Video Magazine | February 8, 2019

Why the Massive Technical Challenges Were 'Exponentially Harder' Than Earlier Motion-Capture Projects

Ready Player One follows game players in a dystopian future who escape the grim reality of their world by entering a more exciting and beautiful world inside the Oasis. The mind-bending all-CG Oasis is an immersive virtual reality universe filled with pop-culture movie and video game references from the 1980's and 90's. In the film, when the inventor of the Oasis dies, he leaves all this and a fortune to the winner of a three-part treasure hunt he devised. We follow game player Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) as his avatar, Percival, competes with other avatars in the Oasis for the prize.

Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg traveled inside a virtual production to make this film with the help of artists primarily at Digital Domain and Industrial Light & Magic. The Third Floor and Framestore helped with previs. Produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros., Ready Player One had a budget of $175 million and a worldwide gross of $583 million, according to IMDb. It received a 72 percent approval rating on the review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes.

The visual-effects-heavy film scored Oscar and BAFTA nominations for best visual effects and five Visual Effects Society nominations — for environment (The Shining), virtual cinematography (New York Race), model (DeLorean DMC-12), animated character (Art2mis), and outstanding visual effects. ILM's David Shirk, overall animation supervisor, Roger Guyett, overall visual effects supervisor, and Grady Cofer, visual effects supervisor, received the Oscar, BAFTA and VES nominations for best visual effects along with Matthew E. Butler, visual effects supervisor at Digital Domain.

We spoke with Roger Guyett, who received his fifth Oscar nomination and seventh BAFTA visual effects nomination for this film. He previously won a BAFTA award for Saving Private Ryan and has also received six VES nominations and two VES awards for supervising the effects in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.

StudioDaily: Why do you think your peers voted to give Oscar nominations for best visual effects to Ready Player One?

Roger Guyett: This year more than any other, I had no idea which films would make it though. I think what helped Ready Player One was how different it was. I think people want something fresh. I hope they recognized the artistry and are excited by it. I really loved the shot design — a lot of which was, of course, Steven Spielberg.
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Article provided by Film & Video Magazine

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