Art of The Steal
"The Theft Of The Mona Lisa" is one of several VFX sequences created by the team at reactiv for the feature film ART OF THE STEAL, an art heist comedy, starring Jay Baruchel, Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Katheryn Winnick, and Terrence Stamp.
We were approached by director Jonathan Sobol to create a retro, silent-film inspired scene that told the story of the “Theft Of The Mona Lisa” utilizing the cast of the movie. The tone was to be playful and stylized, with a slight homage to Georges Méliès’ work. The scene itself was written by Jonathan, who also worked on the initial storyboards. We were then tasked with creating & bringing to life the stylized world of the 1911 Paris, France.
We began by breaking down Jonathan’s detailed storyboards and figuring out which parts of the compositions he wanted were going to be live-action elements, and which would be created in post. The post elements then were broken down into elements that would be photograph-based and which would be entirely generated from scratch digitally.
The live action actors were filmed on green-screen in studio. We then took these live-action shots and composited them into our collage-like environments. These environments were designed and constructed meticulously using hundreds of layers of photographs and CG elements to create a unique, stylized look.
This making of featurette became available on the DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the film, showcasing our process in putting this scene together. It also features a side by side comparison of the live-action green-screen footage along with the finished piece.
Mona Lisa Sequence Credits:
VFX Creative Director: Alon Isocianu
Lead VFX Artists: Josh Ruscheinsky & Phil Prates
CG Artist: Phil Prates
VFX Assistants: Alex Brian Kim, Robert Sharpe, Ben Brommell
Post Producer: Anna Junger
Written & Directed By: Jonathan Sobol
Production Company: Darius Films
Editor: Geoff Ashenhurst
DP: Adam Swica
Production Design: Matthew Davies
Music By: Grayson Matthews