How Hayley Atwell Became 'Old Peggy Carter' For CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
With pre- and final visual effects stills of Hayley Atwell's emotional scene as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a VFX supervisor explains how the aging effect was achieved. Check it out
Lola VFX is notably responsible for the impressive pre-super soldier Steve Rogers, or "Skinny Steve," effects in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger movie, but for this year's sequel and Marvel's latest box office success, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the company was tasked with not only recreating "Skinny Steve" for a quick flashback scene, but also transforming actress Hayley Atwell into an older Peggy Carter for her one heartbreaking scene opposite Chris Evans. According to the FX Guide, Lola VFX initially planned to achieve "Old Peggy" by filming Atwell with no make-up, "do a further shoot with old age prosthetic make-up applied," and then "carry out a digital facial re-projection of the ‘old age make-up Atwell’ onto her original body." However, due to the prostetics "restricting" the British actress' performance, the Captain America: Winter Soldier crew resumed the make-up process with a young actress that ressembled Hayley Atwell. “We did three tests with the lookalike,” explained Edson Williams, the Lola visual effects supervisor. “Each test got increasingly better than the prior test. With each iteration of the test, the make-up artist would make the appliances thinner and thinner and by the end was some of the best prosthetics I’d seen. But it still wasn’t quite what we were looking for.”
Then an elderly actress was cast and brought in “with the intention of seeing what real skin looked like; translucency, how does the skin sag, how does it move as she talks?” said Williams. “I said, ‘Let’s try something that we’ve never done before.’ I wanted to take the performance of the elderly woman that we had shot in a rig with eight cameras and project the skin onto the original Hayley footage that had been shot on set. We took a still frame of the skin and tracked it onto the original photography, and it looked so good. The way we did it – it was amazing – you could still see Hayley, her eyes, her mouth, her underlying structure, but we just lifted the creases and cracks and age from the elderly woman and transposed it onto Hayley’s young face.” It was then that the Lola team brought back the elderly actress to film the scene with more accuracy and at a higher frame rate. “We brought her back to Lola and re-shot her with this new technique in mind,” continued Williams. “She performed all the lines and all the emotion of the original Peggy footage. The first time she was just delivering her lines, but the second time she met the cadence and the performance of Hayley.” For an even more in-depth explaination as to how the Lola visual effects team created "Old Peggy," make the jump over to the FX Guide. However, you can see a shot of Hayley Atwell's Winter Soldier scene (above) compared to the finished product (below), and other official stills via Luma Pictures.
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy — the Winter Soldier. Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Georges St-Pierre, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp and Maximiliano Hernández with Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Redford, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is directed by the team of Anthony & Joe Russo from a screenplay written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. Executive producers on the project include Alan Fine, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee. The creative production team on the film includes director of photography Trent Opaloch, production designer Peter Wenham, editors Jeffrey Ford, A.C.E. and Mary Jo Markey, A.C.E. and three time Oscar®-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is set for release on April 4, 2014.
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