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About The Special Effects

The digital special effects in the film were created by Pitof/Duboi. Formed in 1991, the company (comprising 45 employees) works to create, and perfect, sophisticated digital special effects. Averaging work on 50 commercials annually, the company has also worked on over 30 feature films. Among them: "Delicatessen," Jean-Marie Poire's blockbuster "Les Visiteurs," and Michel Blanc's "Grosse Fatigue" (the effects for which were honored at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival).

On "The City of Lost Children," a feasibility study was conducted early in pre-production -- a necessity, given the complex effects conceived by the filmmakers. Ultimately, Pitof/Duboi was responsible for 144 shots totaling 17 minutes of screen time. The resulting digital effects sequences included the Cyclops' "Optacons" viewfinders' perspectives; and actor Dominique Pinon's multiple incarnations (as some, or all, of The Clones) within a single scene.

As a result of Pitof/Duboi's efforts, "The City of Lost Children" is the French feaure film with the greatest number of digital special effects, of the greatest length, ever made by a wholly French crew.

Computerized special-effects images in the film were created by Pierre Buffin and his Buf Compagnie. In 10 years of existence, the company (staffed by artists and software engineers) has expanded the capabilities of, and the options for, 3-D computer-generated special effects. For "The City of Lost Children," 15 staffers worked for 10 months, using powerful HP 9000 systems, on 48 shots totaling 5 minutes of screen time. These include such key sequences as the sinister missions of the fleas; the climactic dream sequence; and the teardrop.

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Last modified 9-November-1995.
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