Cruella – MPC Film

Wednesday | 2022 01 12 | Making of - Movies

Collider got an exclusive video from MPC Film that breaks down the VFX work of Cruella, Disney’s successful live-action prequel starring Emma Stone as the titular villain. The new video shows some of the film’s most iconic scenes, explaining how the VFX team used digital models to create Cruella’s stunning visuals.

The new video strips down several shots from Cruella, revealing how the VFX team modified color and light to give the movie its unique tone. More impressive is the addition of digital models to represent Cruella’s dogs and even buildings. The VFX team also did an amazing job removing elements from the frame, with a couple of bird-eye view shots from London showing how buildings were erased for the movie. Since Cruella is a prequel set in the 1970s, the VFX had to transform the whole city to avoid anachronism.

In addition to the video, Production VFX Supervisor Max Wood also explained how some scenes were put together, such as the ball scene where Cruella first shows up as her villainous persona. Cruella burns a paper cloak she’s wearing in the scene, only to reveal a stunning dress hiding underneath. Although the scene only has three shots, the VFX team had a lot of work to put the flaming cloak together. As Wood tells us:

“The three shots were first filmed with Cruella, Emma Stone, wearing the red dress. Then, after a hair, make-up, and costume change, she repeated the action in the white hooded cape for all three shots. We knew that the cape would be CG but these takes gave the Visual Effects team a perfect reference of how the cape would move and how the shiny fabric would look under the on-set lighting.”

Filming Stone with different costumes allowed the VFX team to gather references to simulate the movement of the paper cloak Cruella uses. However, lighting it on fire and making it look realistic was a challenge of its own. As Wood explains the process:

“As it [the cloak] ignites, not only do the small pieces break away, but there is an overall rising effect of the cape to simulate what happens to real flash paper when ignited. Once the cape began to move correctly, flames and smoke were simulated, and a lighting effect was added to the surrounding environment and party-goers to integrate the effect.”

Cruella’s cast includes Paul Walter Hauser, Joel Fry, Emma Thompson, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mark Strong, John McCrea, and Kayvan Novak. Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) directs from a screenplay written by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara, with story by Aline Brosh McKenna and Kelly Marcel & Steve Zissis. Due to the movie’s success, Disney already greenlit a sequel with Stone set to return as the villain.


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