Mary: Making of a Princess is about ‘our’ Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark. She’s a fellow Tasmanian who married a Danish Prince and became royalty. It’s a cracker of a story really. A bit of context: Tasmania is the sparsely populated island under the mainland of Australia (where I grew up) and it’s about as far from European royalty as you can get. It has a grim colonial history, and many of the contemporary white population are descended from convicts sent as slave labour to the island. So the contrast is great and is what makes the tale so popular in Australia.
I developed the concept for, designed and animated the opening titles sequence, and completed a whole range of VFX tasks such as: clean-up, adding snow, compositing content onto tv and computer screens, blue-screen travel simulation composites, as well as lighting, rendering and compositing several CG aeroplanes into the airport shots.
I actually did much of the compositing work for this film in Fusion. I’d been working with After Effects for a long time and I was looking for something a bit more powerful. I’d looked at Smoke too (which had just released a Mac version) and it didn’t feel like the right fit. After this film though I sold my Fusion dongle, bit the bullet and bought a Nuke Studio license. Honestly I really liked Fusion but it just didn’t make sense to invest so much time learning a program that wasn’t the industry standard. The switch to Nuke was the best thing I ever did as it put me in a position to collaborate and work at bigger VFX houses. I do wish Blackmagic would invest more in Fusion though and give Nuke some competition, not that they’re sitting around, just out of principle. I often wonder if the Adobe subscriptions would be as painful as they are if Macromedia were still around… Anyway I digress.