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Behind the Scenes of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" Movies


Behind the Scenes of the

Bill Nighy in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

Photo Credit: Industrial Light and Magic, © Disney Enterprises

You were going to buy Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on DVD anyway, but just in case, we've got some behind the scenes interviews to make you even more excited. At ILM's office in San Francisco, the team behind Davy Jones, the Dutchman crew and the Kraken took us through the processes that they will present on the film's DVD.

Adorning their office, we saw all the conceptual art work, including a Turtle Guy that was never included in the film. Surprisingly, the DVD does not end up including an extended scene of the dice game as expected, so perhaps that will be saved for a future DVD release. And we pulled every tidbit we could about Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End.

Interview with Aaron McBride, Visual Effects Art Director

Defining the Flying Dutchman Curse: “What we tried to do was develop kind of a hierarchy to the curse, the idea being that the longer that you serve on Davy Jones' crew and on the Flying Dutchman, the more sort of encrusted you become and more calcified, caked with barnacles and sea life. It starts out as sort of a low level infection, kind of like Rosacea or acne or boils or something like that. We got a lot of nice really nasty references for that type of thing. It would start out as kind of a skin disorder for most of the more human characters like Koleniko and Clanker. And then it would sort of erupt into say a barnacle or some coral or a little honeycomb type of pattern that you get with coral. That was a way for it to motivate larger departures from a human form.

You could start out with some infection like this and then it could just sort of erupt into puffer fish kind of spines or something like that. Or, in the extreme case, like with Maccus, you kind of yank out into sort of a Hammerhead shark eye. And we got a lot of really nasty reference of sort of deformities like Elephantitis, things like that from some kind of cool books that we found."

Giving the Background Dutchmen More Screen Time in Pirates 3: “A lot of times, what we'll do is we'll get as far as looks pretty good in turntable [mode], and then if something comes up in a shot or close up of a character acting a certain way, then we'll sort of go back and revisit it, if it needs a little bit more love. There were a couple shots with Maccus when he got into closeup that were like, ‘Okay, his pore detail and things like that, we need to amp that up a little bit so it'll hold up in close up.’ Then there were some additional background guys that we designed like Wheelback and Angler and Ratlin.

I think what happened was there were originally 13 kind of hero Dutchmen developed, and then there was a lot of low res background guys that just sort of fill out the background. But at one point, there's a scene where the Kraken caller, where they're all turning the turnstile to do the Kraken caller, I think they realized that there needed to be 12 people to operate that and already I think about four of the other Dutchmen were up on deck with Davy Jones. We needed to develop a couple additional guys so we weren't seeing the same guys here in close up all the time.”

The Effects in the Extended Dice Game: “There's a lot more. There's more of them in the dice game. There's a lot more of Davy Jones. There's actually some really cool lines that Davy Jones had in the extended scene. And there's more really kind of cool stuff of him smoking his pipe and lighting his pipe, and filling it with tobacco and stuff like that. It was a really cool little bit that we were all kind of sad to see got cut out but we're psyched to see it come back on the DVD. I think there was a lot more of Maccus up on deck. He had a lot more interaction with Davy Jones. I think some of that was trimmed down. I just remember seeing a lot of it in our daily shots that we were working on. In the final cut of the movie we were like, 'Oh yeah, I remember seeing more of Maccus.'”

The Rejection of Turtle Guy: “One of the things was that Gore [Verbinski] said he didn't want the guys to look too gimmicky. He didn't want them to look like they were high concept where it was obvious what the gag was. This guy actually exhibited too much of a turtle. He kind of looked like ‘guy in a turtle costume’.. Maybe more of a turtle's face is erupting on the side of his head. The turtle's not perfectly lined up with a human face. It's kind of mutating out of his shoulder or something like that.

I think there was another one that I did that was a swordfish guy. The swordfish was kind of erupting out of the top of his head and it was just too many whole bits of sea life. It made it look a little too gimmicky. Some guys already sort of had that, like Maccus and this guy had a whole eel coming out of him. He's got sort of a whole side of a puffer fish face to him, but we didn't want everyone to have that. Mostly just the hero guys to have that. Then we went back and did more guys who it was less kind of identifiable what their curse was. They just seemed to be more infected with a lot of sea life and not one big obvious thing sticking out of them.”

The New Creatures of Pirates in the Caribbean 3: “We're actually working on between six and ten new creatures. We just got approval [Oct 31st]. So yeah, we're looking forward to developing those guys. They're Dutchmen. They're additional Dutchmen.”

Page 2: Interview with Hal Hickel

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