Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” received nine Oscar nominations, tying “Birdman” for the most of any film. And one of its likeliest wins comes in the Best Production Design category, where production designer Adam Stockhausen and set decorator Anna Pinnock are the odds-on favorites to win what could be the first Oscar ever for one of Anderson’s films.
As Anderson prepared the film, Stockhausen’s were used to create “animatics,” which turned the drawings into an animated version of the film that suggested not only the look of “Grand Budapest” but also the camera movement.
The two videos here, debuting exclusively at TheWrap, put those animatics side-by-side with finished sequences from the film, to show both how they were used as a guide and how Anderson and nominated cinematographer Robert Yeoman sometimes differed from the blueprints.
“We use the animatics much the same way you would use storyboards … they help visualize the shots beforehand,” Stockhausen told TheWrap. “The animatic goes a step beyond, though, because you actually see the entire edited sequence.
“The movement is particularly important in figuring out the set layouts. The doors, windows and other set pieces have to end up in the right arrangement for the camera to see them. In the shootout clip, there is a pan from Dmitri’s entrance over to the service elevator with M. Gustave. We saw the camera move in the animatic and knew that one had to be in the mirrored position to the other.
“The animatics are also an incredible tool for breaking down the more complicated sequences. The introduction of the hotel, for instance, moves through a series of paintings, miniatures, locations and stage sets. This can get really confusing but the animatic becomes a roadmap—and a huge time saver.”
The video above shows a shootout inside the hotel. The video below presents a scene in which a lawyer played by Jeff Goldblum reveals that his deceased client (Tilda Swinton) has left an extremely valuable painting to the hotel concierge played by Ralph Fiennes.