DETECTIVE PIKACHU Was Shot On Film And Used Minimal Green Screen, Says Justice Smith
These next several weeks are going to be a rather exciting time to go to the movie theater, I think. Captain Marvel has been dominating at the box office the past two weeks and the stage is set for films such as Us, Shazam!, Pet Sematary, Avengers: Endgame, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Detective Pikachu to keep the momentum going from now and all the way into the start of the summer season this year. Obviously most eyes are fixed on Avengers: Endgame in particular, but the two impressive trailers that have been released lately for Detective Pikachu seem to have stirred quite a bit of interest in that film as well.
In a new interview with Vulture, lead actor Justice Smith revealed that director Rob Letterman was insistent on shooting the upcoming film on film stock rather than with a digital camera in order to achieve a certain “noir” aesthetic to help make the iconic Pokemon pop more when onscreen.
Smith explained, “There wasn’t a lot of green screen. Our director, Rob Letterman — I’m getting better at saying last names, Rob Letterman — wanted to shoot on location as much as possible. We shot in London, and for like a week in Scotland which is like a desktop background. He had this vision to put the Pokémon up against this urban backdrop and use this gray, grainy filter. We shot on film so it gave it that natural grain.”
Smith added that Letterman was “all about the actor and our performance and keeping it loose on set and improvising and responding naturally” and that he himself was excited to see the Pokemon props while onset due to his own experiences as a fan from childhood.
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