David Chase, James Gandolfini, New Jersey – it's a director, actor and setting combination that might make you think 'gangsters', but the Sopranos creator's film debut, Not Fade Away, is actually the story of a rock band trying to break out of its 1960s suburban surroundings and into the city, a city that Framestore had to recreate.
The film division in New York worked on more than 200 shots, completing all of Not Fade Away’s visual effects and enabling the film to be placed subtly into that distinctive mid-60s period, adding a sense of scale while remaining almost invisible.
With David Chase working with visual effects of this scale for the first time, Framestore collaborated with him from the start, particularly in planning the scenes set in LA where the city has changed a great deal since the 1960s.
Tell-tale signs of the modern day all had to go, while iconic 60s locations needed to be rebuilt and monitor inserts (more than 30 in total) had to be made for archive footage such as the moon landing or old Rolling Stones gigs. Framestore even recreated whole areas in 2.5D, including Hollywood’s famous Cinerama Dome which, while still standing, isn’t anywhere near where the scene was shot.
There was also a set extension for a scene at the Sunset & Vine intersection. The shop fronts in the lower half where shot on set, but the top was extended in 2.5D to recreate the famous, but now closed, Wallichs Music City and several bits of the area had to be moved around.
While invisibility was the order of the day, Framestore also created some spectacular touches, one being a crane shot that takes in the Manhattan in the distance before moving down to a theatre which is actually in New Jersey. There is also a multi-element shot of a motorcycle crash that features a combination of clean passes and debris effects, and flares that needed smoke, 2D and particle effects adding to make them look real.
Paramount Vantage and Indian Paintbrush present in association with The Weinstein Company a Gran Via / Chase Films production