VISUAL EFFECTS FOR OSCAR AWARD WINNER FLORIAN GALLENBERGER’S LATEST MOVIE JOHN RABE
John Rabe is a historical movie about the extraordinary achievements of the director of Siemens Nanking, who saved over 200.000 Chinese during the mass murder and massacre of Nanking by the Japanese army in 1937. Parts of this movie take place in the huge generator halls of Nanking we were involved in.
In cooperation with the VFX team around Alex Lemke and Visual Effects Supervisor Joachim Grueninger, we were entrusted with the Siemens generators scenes. Our challenge was to give these massive, two-storey high metal giants a realistic appearance, so they would melt seamlessly into the real shots. Since these pre-war generators don’t exist anymore, a persistent research was necessary. Only a few black and white photos still exist and here and there a similar, mostly smaller generator in a museum. But little by little we got an idea of how the look and feel of these massive steam generators probably were. Based on measurement information and the HDRIs, we reconstructed a detailed lighting and reflection environment according to the real generator hall. Besides the complex texturing/shading, we built setups for the generators to animate the mechanical parts. In the end the processors were fed with all the data to render the up to 20 seconds lasting shots.
The film won four German Film Awards for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design
Hofmann & Voges Entertainment
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR