Watched the magic of Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan (DVD) last night for the first time and I am still enthralled. The passionate film is tense and engaging as well as overflowing with lovingly integrated VFX work.
I really like seeing the behind-the-scenes of things, whether it be a documentary on the making of lego, to the special features on our DVDs to seeing dancers gearing up for performances. Black Swan transports us behind the front face of a ballet company to see the talent, stress and hard work of the dancers. Natalie Portman is simply superb showing the range of characters as her roles as the white and black swans intertwine in her mind. The other standout (apart from the majesty of the dancing itself) was the cinematography. I am no expert in this area, but Matthew Libatique I think successfully brings us unto the world of the dance and the mind of our protagonist.
All up, a superb film that I recommend on many levels (though not one for the kids...)
The visual effects work is beautifully seamless, we have face and head replacements, mirrors, feathers and more. The attention to detail here is beautiful and LOOK FX have done a nice job of the effects not taking over the shots. Check out this VFX reel to see just how seamlessly the effects work comes together and delivers on enhancing the whole experience. The CGSociety article gives us more detail plus stills as well.
[CG Production Shots from Black Swan via the CGSociety article]
An interviews with Natalie and Darren on the dancing and prep:
Lastly a few pieces of concept art - who doesnt love some cool concept art. These 2 images by Alex Mandra are from his blog post and show the swanification of the dancer.
[Alex Mandra concept art for Black Swan via his blog]