Mensor 3D technology hits movie screens
Mensor 3D’s technology and crew had a share in making Blade Runner 2049, a movie shot in Hungary.
The second part of Blade Runner – a worldview-shaping cult film – hit the movies recently. Blade Runner 2049 was preceded by huge expectations, and most of those who have seen it think positively about this artwork. It is public knowledge that computerized image and object creation had a primarily role in this movie (like in many others these days), but much fewer people know that a Hungarian enterprise had a lion’s share in creating sights for this film. We had an exciting talk with András Fehér, managing director of Mensor 3D, although he many times worded his thoughts in rebuses due to the confidentiality clauses.
“For instance, I’m not even showing you this,” he said pointing to a massive folder as he cannot talk about its contents because he was, and still is bound by confidentiality. This is a special issue of the script for Mensor 3D’s staff, covering all the information that helped to complete the production.
The fruit of the work on the screen
Fortunately, András had mercy on us, so first he mainly talked about his personal experiences and about the thoughts that came to his mind while watching the movie. “I saw that there were hardly any scenes where we had no role at all. I never thought we would have such a dominant part in the film.” He also added that he felt rather strange in the cinema as he was probably one of the oldest viewers. There were many young people – mainly men – in their twenties around him, as they are the professionals who are mainly interested in the 3D virtual world and in making film animations.
Still, he continued, when it came to some professionally challenging scenes, it was fantastic to hear them comment on the difficult and sophisticated way of creating the given picture sequence. It could be well perceived how actively the creators experienced the scenes. “I myself watched much more calmly, but was certainly astonished to meet again everything that we had done in the film. I had expected a much smaller role in the final product, but now I saw that it was not the case. When shooting certain scenes it often happened that I did not really understand what it would be good for, what’s more, I even felt some of them to be superfluous. But when I saw the result and realized why they were necessary, I understood it as a whole,” he continued to report on his experience.
We posed several cross-questions to learn more about Mensor 3D’s concrete work in Blade Runner, although András spotted our efforts easily. So, instead, we let him explain what you exactly have to watch if you go to see this movie. A part of the credits shows the countries where the production was shot. “I told my colleagues which scenes I thought had been made in Mexico, but one of them said I was wrong as he was there when the 3D programmers made that part. I was totally convinced that I saw real actors and not 3D models on the screen.
What is the key to success?
But how can a Hungarian enterprise get close to such a large-scale Hollywood production? This topic was not easy to cover either but András rushed to help us by citing what was said at the premiere. “One of the filmmakers said there was a lot of dispute in Hollywood about bringing this movie to Hungary. Will there be enough experts for making the film? Finally, they decided so. The concept worked, as Hungary has enough professionals and expertise to do the job.” In this approach, this also means that Mensor 3D also had the abilities (3D laser survey and modeling) and expertise that was needed for this film, and there was nothing at all that they could not have done.
András believes that the importance of the above-mentioned technology is also increased by the fact that studios do not, or only very rarely make films without this. “Wherever reality, 3D graphics and virtual reality get mixed, we survey the real space where the scene takes place, which then gives the 3D graphic staff and the virtual effect generating experts the space to work in. This is how the real scenes and the 3D graphics can be perfectly matched later”, explained András the cooperation of Mensor 3D.
Even laymen probably think that it is difficult to join the film industry (to say nothing of staying there), and András did not try to deny this either. “This is a closed circle, and you also need a lot of luck. However, once you are in and work well, you will be passed around.” Excellent performance and accurate work is all the more important because it is no secret that some other Hungarian companies with a similar profile also got near the fire line and have worked in similar productions.
“But this circle is narrower and closer, there are much fewer players here both in Hungary and worldwide than in some other market segments. At the same time, technology is developing terribly fast, and you have to be up to date in every moment. We need the most advanced tools and software, and of course we need to know and follow the trends as this is the part of the world where it is pretty easy to fall behind.”