Christian Manz, the BAFTA-nominated VFX Supervisor at Framestore, who has worked on both Fantastic Beasts films, has recently done a slew of interviews in the lead up to the DVD release of Crimes of Grindelwald.
Due to the length of these interviews, I’ve quoted the main parts of interest for you to read, though just click on the links to be taken to the full ones:
Interview with Flickering Myth: VFX supervisor Christian Manz
The Zouwu leaping from place to place was something that was always there. The story was created that when he was in the circus, he had been bound up and his mane was tied up so he couldn’t use any of his powers. When Newt takes the locks off, he begins to regain his powers. In the script, it said a Zouwu can travel, I think, 1000 miles in a day. Originally, Tim and I were thinking “wow, that’s really fast”, but then Tim realised that’s only about 35mph, which isn’t that fast. Tim worked again with Andy at Framestore and they came up with him being able to warp space and time. His mane has the energy which then helps him do something like Apparate. It meant building a full CG version of the cemetery and the French Ministry, which could be bent into each other. A lot of creative thought and time is spent on that one moment.
I don’t want to get you in trouble, but can you tease anything for the next Fantastic Beasts films?
Some new beasts! [laughs] I’m currently pinning designs to the wall of new creatures. The creative journey has started again and it’s a pleasure to be invited back to continue that journey. Like I said earlier, the bar has been raised and we have to keep pushing ourselves.
Interview with ScreenDaily: VFX supervisor Christian Manz
– work has already started on Fantastic Beasts 3 ahead of filming later this year. “There are already creatures on bits of paper. I’ve got about 150 concepts. We had about 1,000 concepts for Grindelwald that were driven down to about 40 creatures; we’ll be 1,000 or more again. It’s that exciting thing of trying to come up with new creatures, new worlds. That’s the bit I love — we make films and it should be fun.”
Interview with VFX Voice: Animation Supervisor Nathan McConnel
The Zouwu has, of course, many magical elements, including a mane that allows it to apparate. In particular, the mane pulses with light from the base through to the tips of the mane tendrils.
Interview with DenOfGeek: VFX supervisor Christian Manz
[on the Matagots] “The idea of them turning into real black cats came to us quite early in preproduction. We had a wonderful artist who had the idea of what they would look like when they come out of the magical boundaries of the Ministry and how they would appear in the real world.
Interview with ComicBookMovie: VFX supervisor Christian Manz
[on the Niffler] when we got him out in the square for him to help Newt, we wanted to show what he would actually use him for and why he has him in the case like his tracking skills when Newt produces a gold spell that attracts the Niffler to certain areas. But as soon as the animators came up with the great thing of him rubbing his belly across the ground and rubbing his back everywhere, immediately, you’re like that’s just funny and charming.