Wonka sees Framestore collaborating once again with Director Paul King (Paddington films), producers David Heyman (Barbie, Fantastic Beasts and Paddington), and Alexandra Derbyshire (Paddington films). Production side VFX Supervisor Graham Page, alongside Framestore’s Pre Production Services, Art Department, Design, and VFX crews in London, Montréal and Mumbai gave life to delightful characters, sumptuous environments and added to the mix of magic and mayhem with eye-popping simulation work.
Told with fabulous heart and humor, Wonka is the wondrous story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today. Timothée Chalamet stars in the title role with Hugh Grant embodying an Oompa-Loompa, both are based on the extraordinary characters at the center of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one of the best-selling children’s books of all time.
A Perfect Recipe
Framestore had all the right ingredients to deliver Wonka, a generous cup of Concept Art, Pre-Production Services, On-Set Supervision, a sprinkle of Previs, Postvis, Design, and a spoonful of final VFX. The supervision team, led by overall Production VFX Supervisor Graham Page, included Martin Macrae, Head of the Art Department, overseeing concept art; Maike Fiene, Visualization Supervisor, guiding previs and postvis; and VFX Supervisors; and VFX Supervisors Robert Allman and Carlos Monzon, coordinating Framestore VFX artists in Montréal, London, and Mumbai.
From the early concept stages, Framestore played a crucial role in the filmmaking process, helping to realize Paul King's whimsical vision. In over 922 shots, the team executed complex tasks including extensive set extensions, digi-doubles, animated crowds, 2D animations, multiple photorealistic creatures, diverse mechanical devices, 300,000 gallons of digital chocolate, and a fully-realized digital actor for the Oompa Loompa. Considering the huge amount of elements to integrate, the postvis throughout the project development was critical. By incorporating character and environment developments, the team could ensure alignment with the film's final look early on.
"The wide breadth of effects and ideas that needed to be brought to the screen in this film covered an immense range of techniques combining the best practical filmmaking with far reaching VFX," states Overall VFX Supervisor, Graham Page.
Paul King - Director
"Wonka was my third film with Framestore and yet again they surpassed my wildest expectations. Each time they have been the absolute best of creative collaborators. They take time to listen to your ideas and then execute them flawlessly. They have made audiences believe a bear can be lost and alone on Paddington Station, that his tears bring forth the nostalgic rainforest of his memories, and that Hugh Grant really is eighteen inches high with orange skin and bright green hair. (Spoiler: he isn’t.) In short; they work miracles. They leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of excellence. They never complain when you ask them for one more pass at a shot, because they want it to be perfect every bit as much as you do. And what more could you possibly want? If you ever have a chance to work with them, you should. Because they’re the best. With a cherry on top."
David Heymans - Producer
"I have made close to 20 films with Framestore and they never disappoint. On Wonka there was such a wide variety of work and every bit of it was to an incredibly high standard. The animation and rendering of the Oompa Loompa is some the best work of its kind I have ever seen. And throughout Graham and the team were the very best partners we could have asked for: endlessly creative, ever supportive, and always pushing to the very limit to give Paul what he wanted."
Alexandra Derbyshire - Producer
"Framestore have been a pleasure to work with as a company both through the Paddington and Paddington 2 and now on Wonka. As a team they have worked tirelessly to realise Paul King’s vision for the films, pushing to reach the very highest technical and creative standard. The attention to detail and care invested in each shot, whether animation or environment work, makes for a seamless viewing experience which is totally believable. They create true cinematic magic. There is a huge team of individuals who make up the team but on WONKA the contributions of Graham Page, Robert Allman, Carlos Monzon, Dale Newton and Meena Ibrahim were second to none. Many thanks for all of your work in bringing Wonka to life."
How ‘Wonka’ Artisans Crafted Fake Chocolate, De-Aged Hugh Grant and Styled Timothée Chalamet’s ‘Incredible Head of Hair’ - Variety
The VFX of Wonka w/ Framestore Visual Effects Team, Graham Page, Dale Newton and Robert Allman - Art of the Frame
Crafting a Magical Confection: The VFX of ‘Wonka’ - Animation Magazine
How Framestore turned Hugh Grant into an Oompa Loompa for ‘Wonka’ - befores&afters
An Oompa Loompa, giraffes and a chocolate waterfall. Will Lawrence talks creating Wonka’s madcap visual effects with Framestore’ - Definition Magazine
London Zoo giraffe inspires big screen animal in box office hit Wonka - The Standard
Inventing the World of WONKA: A Conversation with Writer/Director Paul King and His Crafts Team - Warner Bros. Awards 2023