"Kon-Tiki" is as close to a large hollywood production as you can get here in Scandinavia. The director duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are very accomplished
in both the realm of TV-commercials and features films, and have previously directed the huge cinema hit "Max Manus - Man at war", as well as the French-American western "Bandidas".
Together with producers Aage Aaberget and Jeremy Thomas they are back with the epic story of Norwegian adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl.
Heyerdahl, portrayed by Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen, had a theory that Polynesia was populated by people who sailed from South America (Peru).
The theory is still questioned today, but back in the 1940s just the thought was considered outrageous.
Heyerdahl wanted to prove that it was possible. In 1947 he gathered a crew, built a balsa wood raft and set sail from Peru and headed towards Polynesia.
They called the raft "Kon-Tiki". The 8000 km (5000 mi) journey ended after 101 days when Heyerdahl and his crew crashed in to a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands.
This is pretty incredible since Heyerdahl feared water and could not swim.
During the voyage they encountered all sorts of marine life, including sharks and a huge Whale Shark.
They had a 16mm film camera onboard, and the documentation of the journey resulted in the Academy Award winning documentary "Kon-Tiki" (1951).
The new movie is a full blown epic drama about the events before and during the adventure.
It was shot during the course of three and a half months, in six different countries. The movie's beautiful images were captured by DOP Geir Hartly Andreassen
mainly using an Arri Alexa (Arri Raw), with some additional footage shot on RED One and RED Epic.
Ten different post-production facilities have been working on the movie, some of which have been responsible have some breathtaking photo-real vfx work.
We are talking pristine matte paintings, impressive cgi creatures and water simulations on a grand scale.
Awesome work from among other, Storm Studios, ILP, Fido and Gimpville. VFX supervisor Arne Kaupang was in charge of coordinating the massive vfx-task.
The movie was beautifully graded by MPC Colourist Jean-Clement Soret in London. This trailer was graded by Julien Alary.
I handled the final online for the movie, which includes a fare share of compositing / clean-up / rig removal shots and plenty of logistics since I was the hub for all
the incoming shots from the various vfx-vendors. It is great fun to work on such an large project that has a real Hollywood feel to it, at the same time as it maintains it's firm Scandinavian roots.
"Kon-Tiki" has it's Norwegian premiere August 24th 2012.
The international premiere will be at the Toronto International Film Festival held between 6 - 16th September 2012.
Meanwhile check out the main trailer!
Production Company: Nordisk Film, RPC
Producers: Aage Aaberget & Jeremy Thomas
Directors: Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg
Screenplay: Petter Skavlan
Cast: Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Odd Magnus Williamson, Tobias Santelmann, Jakob Oftebro, Agnes Kittelsen
DOP: Geir Hartly Andreassen
VFX Supervisor: Arne Kaupang
VFX Houses: Storm Studios, Fido, ILP, Gimpville, Super Rune, Storyline Studios, California Post, ShortCut Denmark, ShortCut Norway
Editors: Per-Erik Eriksen & Martin Stoltz
Assistant Editor: Patrick Larsgaard
Sound Design: Tormod Ringnes & Bård H. Ingebretsen
Original Music: Johan Söderqvist
Feature Colourist: Jean-Clement Soret
Trailer Colorist: Julien Alary
Online / Compositing (ShortCut Norway): Dylan R. Hopkin
Offline: 3 x Avid Media Composer (MAC) connected to an EditShare storage
Online: Autodesk Smoke, Autodesk Flame
VFX: Nuke, Fusion, Adobe After Effects, Mocha, Maya, Houdini, Naiad (and plenty of other tools)
Audio: Digidesign Protools
DCP: DVS Clipster
"Kon-Tiki" movie - Official homepage
Variety - 'Kon-Tiki' endures long voyage to bigscreen
Rushprint - Interview with producer Aage Aaberget (written in Norwegian)
Dagbladet - Interview with director Joachim Rønning (written in Norwegian)
VG - Interview with diector Joachim Rønning concerning the visual effects on Kon-Tiki (written in Norwegian)