Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Local production studio Pili (霹靂) International Multimedia on Tuesday released a video revealing behind-the-scenes footage of its upcoming fantasy film, “DEMIGOD: The Legend Begins,” which has a cast of glove puppets. Taiwanese.
The company is known for exclusively producing television programs and movies using traditional Taiwanese glove puppets. He began posting behind-the-scenes featurettes to promote the film on YouTube in October last year.
The latest video shows the studio’s attention to detail in constructing film sets and choosing to adopt practical effects over computer-generated imagery (CGI).
According to the studio, he decided to create new realistic sets to better match the size of the hand puppets, which are 80-90cm tall, a departure from the standard approach when making the weekly TV series.
Studio general manager Huang Liang-hsun (黃亮勛) said standard sets usually mimic a puppet scene which limits the camera angles that can be used, while new sets allow for greater flexibility when filming.
The studio also revealed that its art department made detailed, weathered sets that looked more realistic when paired with cinema-level lighting.
One of the sets, costing around NT$1 million (US$36,130), was set on fire to achieve the realism needed for a scene.
“We made sure that all the scenes on this set were completed and no reshoots were needed before turning it on,” director Cheng Pao-Pin (鄭保品) said. “We were very nervous, given that we only had one shot, and we had to make sure the picture looked good and our puppeteers were safe.”
“The realistic fire movements captured by high-resolution cameras were something special effects couldn’t replicate, and we were very pleased with the results,” Huang said.
In addition to hiring Japanese expert “Tokusatsu” Kakusei Fujiwara to help craft the costumes worn by real actors and create the illusion of gigantic mythical beasts, the studio also spent about three months completing a 48-second scene. .
The scene features one of the beasts, the Swordtail Qilin with saliva oozing from its mouth. The need for meticulous computer calculations and subsequent simulations was why it took so long to complete, the studio said.
The film, which premieres Jan. 28, stars the studio’s iconic hand puppet character Su Huan-jen (素還真), whose name is also the film’s Chinese title.
The studio’s last two Taiwanese puppet films, released in 2000 and 2015, earned NT$150 million and NT$20 million respectively at the local box office.