Experience Disney’s ‘Lion King’ in a virtual reality 3D world!

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Disney’s 3D ‘Lion King,’ a whole new level of virtual imagery

Disney has been bagging box office hits of their 3D remakes of their animated classics, and hopes their latest remake of “The Lion King” will climb right at the top of the line. 

The film has a star-studded voice cast, specifically Beyonce, and an estimated $250 million budget. Disney did not hesitate on bringing such expense as they give the fans the most beloved source material roaring to photo-realistic life. 

Fans zealously expect from the film remake of cub Simba’s adventure. In fact, the trailer had 225 million views in its first 24 hours, shattering Disney’s record.  

With its release on Wednesday here in the Philippines, the crew behind the film shared their experience in making the virtually perfect image of “The Lion King.” 

With no human characters in the film, the filmmakers made sure of every character’s realistic shots, which were made from scratch using computer-generated imagery. 

Jon Favreau, the director of the film, said it is a totally new kind of 3D that was shot by traditional camera crew. He said the film was shot inside a virtual reality 3D world.  

“The crew would be able to put on the headsets, go in and scout and actually set cameras within VR,” Favreau shared. “Whenever anybody visited I would pop them into the equipment,” he added. 

The making of the film 

Child actor JD McCrary voices the young Simba early in the film. 

“We put on the headsets and had these little control things in our hands. We saw everything, we saw the Pride Lands, Pride Rock, the watering hole,” he said. 

“We saw it all man, and it was so cool!,” he exclaimed. 

This method, according to Favreau, had a massive practical benefits that made the film the way it actually appears. 

His talented crew had no experience in high-tech visual effects, but brought their traditional experience and techniques, and their actual camera “dollies” and cranes right into the VR studio. 

Moreover, set dressers, script supervisors, and cinematographers could watch the film unfolding and were able to make real-time adjustments to the lighting, camerawork, and shots. 

Those were the scenarios before the footage was sent to MPS, a London-based visual effects firm, for the polishing and finalizing of the lifelike movie. 

The voice actors did not also perform the traditional voice recording in sound booths. They recorded together on theater stages, giving them more freedom in acting and improvising the lines. 

Seth Rogen, the actor who voices warthog Pumbaa, said that it was “amazing” to be doing ad-libs in a “probably the most technologically incredible movie ever made.” 

The film remake follows the first storyline of “The Lion King,” and also bringing back James Earl Jones as the voice of Simba’s father, Mufasa. 

The Oscar and Grammy-winning original soundtracks “Circle of Life” and “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” remain intact in the film. Not only the songs, but also most of the musicians behind them are part of the latest remake. 

The Lion King will be in the Philippine cinemas nationwide on July 17, 2019, Wednesday. 

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