In Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (Warner Bros., streaming on HBO Max), Professor Albus Dumbledore entrusts magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an effort to stop dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from taking control of the wizarding world.
The Third Floor’s London team worked with Director David Yates, VFX Supervisor Christian Manz and Storyboard Artist Giles Asbury to produce previs for a scope of action and story beats that feature in the movie to represent looks, lighting, creatures and effects the filmmakers’ envisioned.
The Quilin Chase establishes main hero Newt, who’s in China on a mission to prevent Grindelwald’s acolytes from gaining possession of a magical creature that has just been born. “This chase was incredibly exciting to visualize due to its action-packed and fast-paced design,” said Visualization Supervisor James Burr. “Through previs, the director and his team could work through how they wanted to layer the multiple story and action beats in the scene – Newt running and jumping through the bamboo forest, Newt’s briefcase coming to life, the acolytes attempting to snatch the creature. In ‘vis, they could also work through the sequencing of these events and look at ways the shots could be filmed on the real set build.”
Various looks and levels of lighting for environments and effects were also explored for the night-time bamboo forest and magical spells experienced in the scene.
Another notable scene is the epic battle between powerful wizards Credence and Dumbledore, as they then enter a fabricated world Dumbledore creates. Visualization Supervisor Stewart Ash notes: “This world allows Credence to cause mayhem and destruction without harming anyone, but it was also a chance to visualize some stunning visuals in this dark environment, which reflects back on the real world only in the puddles.”
TTF additionally worked on several other sequences: the Erkstag Prison Escape, Berlin Steam Train Arrival, Hogwarts Cafe, Bhutan Streets and the final act in Eyrie. Techvis was created for some shots to inform layouts on the backlot, taking account for sun direction and placements for crowds and crew on set.
TTF’s prior work on Fantastic Beasts films and with Director David Yates includes both Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018).