Leave a Comment
It's a pretty common fact that a lot of prominent movies cost a lot of money to produce. Still, it sometimes takes pretty mundane details to help us to gain a better picture of why movies are so costly. Sure, there are often a lot of people involved and even a lot of lunches to cater, but sometimes even smaller things, like getting a character's hair to look right on the big screen, can cost a lot. In the case of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tells, the extensive process that went into Javier Bardem's hair is a huge reminder of why the costs rack up on movies.
It took a lot of special effects to get Javier Bardem's Salazar and his crew looking like they came from under the water. That underwater-like atmosphere translated the most into Bardem's hair for the movie, and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 ended up getting proprietary software called Furtility to help to create millions of hair strands that were able to move in very specific ways. The visual effects company MPC also spent a specific amount of time then reworking the hair shots to make sure hair was colliding and movie in slow motion. In other words, the process was complex, similar to how Merida's animated hair in Brave was complex.
MPC's Patrick Ledda told Indiewire that the entire process was difficult and time consuming, noting,
Hair sim, usually done on a shot-by-shot basis, had to be created for entire sequences and was complicated by the need to be consistent and constantly in motion. So the effects animation was worked out in beats like a character performance.
Clearly the visual effects process was intensive for the movie, and it's really lucky that Pirates of the Caribbean 5 was the fifth movie in the franchise and could command the budget it needed for some really intensive visual effects. The end effect was that Javier Bardem's hair really looks pretty sweet in the movie, and totally looks like someone who is in "the sea and drowning."
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ended up with a production budget of $230 million dollars, which doesn't make it the most expensive movie in the franchise, but is still a pretty hefty budget. Luckily, after only a couple of weeks in the theater, the movie has already grossed more than $500 million worldwide and more than $121 million domestically. So it looks like the money spent on getting the details right, including Javier Bardem's hair, was money well-spent.