MPC London, Los Angeles and Bengaluru worked on the Oscar winning movie – The Jungle Book

MPC VFX Supervisor Adam Valdez was honoured at the 89th Academy Awards for the studio’s stunning and innovative work on Disney’s The Jungle Book, winning the Oscar for Visual Effects.

Valdez accepted the award on behalf of MPC’s team of more than 800 artists, production and technologists based in London, Los Angeles and Bengaluru, who worked on The Jungle Book for two years.

As lead VFX studio, MPC artists built a complex photo-real world creating The Jungle Book’s stunning CG environments and bringing the film’s iconic animal characters to life. Best friend Baloo the bear, Mowgli’s wolf family, Bagheera the panther, Kaa the python, and the villainous tiger Shere Khan had to be built from scratch. They had to make the bone, skin, hair and whisker. 54 species of animals and 224 unique animals were created and new computer programs were made to better simulate muscles, skin and fur.

Valdez said on the night, “This is a very proud day for me and my crew at MPC. I speak for everyone who was lucky enough to work with Jon Favreau and the great team at Disney when I say how grateful we are for this honour from the Academy. Taking part in making a great film is a rare gift. Being recognised for our craft is deeply gratifying.”

The movie — with its single live actor in a totally digital environment — brought unprecedented challenges. MPC met these challenges by marshaling its resources – including parent company Technicolor and their color pipeline and finishing artists – in new ways. MPC and Technicolor have a long history of building large-scale productions across many networks. Utilising all the resources they’ve been building over the past several years for this project, they were able to put that technology at the service of the storyteller.

MPC Bengaluru celebrating Oscar victory
MPC Bengaluru celebrating Oscar victory

The Jungle Book needs to be celebrated for taking an extremely complex set of pioneering technology innovations and producing a result that is real and tugs at the heart strings like any iconic visual experience. A good story well told. It has been debated for some time that the ‘digital world’ supplements the ‘handcrafted’ tradition,” stated MPC Bengaluru, executive director, Biren Ghose. “The Jungle Book demonstrates that the balance between these two elements can blend a live action cinematography with a realistic computer generated landscapes in a modern production technique that pays homage to the innovation of Walt Disney himself while leveraging today’s technology platforms of cinematic creation and exhibition. The Oscar perhaps recognises The Jungle Book as a bellwether for how Visual Effects will inform cinematic storytelling hereafter.”

MPC Film, global MD, Christian Roberton said, “To be recognised by the Academy is testament to the passion and talent of MPC’s artists and production crew. The Jungle Book posed a unique challenge, and with the leadership of director Jon Favreau, production supervisor Rob Legato and our VFX supervisor Adam Valdez, our team created something truly remarkable. I’d like to thank our friends at Disney for entrusting us with one of their most beloved and timeless stories.”

This is the second Oscar awarded to MPC for Visual Effects, having won for their contribution to the VFX of Life of Pi in 2013, as well as receiving nine previous nominations.

The Academy Award win comes after what has been an extremely successful awards season for MPC. Earlier in the year The Jungle Book team won the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects, Critics Choice Award for Outstanding Visual Effects, HPA Award for Visual Effects, Annie Award for Character Animation in a Live Action Production and three VES Awards for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Film, Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture and Outstanding FX and Simulation in a Feature Motion Picture.

2017 is set to be another exciting year for MPC, with the team delivering VFX for a number of highly anticipated movies including The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, Alien Covenant, Ghost in the Shell, The Dark Tower and Blade Runner 2049.