Cinesite transforms Dubrovnik into stylised 16th century Nottingham for Robin Hood

Member News  |  30 November 2018

For the latest Lionsgate remake of the classic Robin Hood tale, Cinesite’s London team completed just under 300 shots.

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Pictured: Cinesite VFX Supervisor, Simon Stanley-Clamp

Overall VFX Supervisor for Cinesite, Simon Stanley-Clamp, oversaw visual effects for the entire production with Aleksandar Pejic supervising the Cinesite crew.

In the inherently modern interpretation of Director Otto Bathurst’s version of the classic tale, the intention was not to focus on the hisotical accuracy of Nottingham architecturally. This meant that Cinesite’s main task was to create environments which display the town instead as a thriving, stylised metropolis, the political and religious capital of England.

The production was filmed primarily in Hungary (Budapest, Tura) and Croatia (Dubrovnik) in early 2017, with Cinesite Art Director Gürel Mehmet housed with the production team throughout pre-production, working closely with VFX Supervisor Simon. Simon’s work was crucial to look development and gave early insight to the team back at Cinesite regarding what needed to be built in CG.

The environments created by Cinesite are integral throughout the film, both in setting the scene for key story points, and as backdrops to the adrenaline-filled action sequences – some environments 2.5d, and others entirely CG.

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Otto’s fictitious Nottingham was entirely computer generated, with the river Trent dividing the afluent side of the city, from the slag heaps districts of the poor on the other side.

The look of Nottingham was based around the buildings of Dubrovnik, where most of the action was filmed, with basic architectural style of the region retained, and the structural layout of the city adapted to suit the story and action which would take place in its streets.

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The design of Nottingham cathedral was conceived with reference to a variety of architectural sources and influences, from Italian churches to Gothic and Art Deco designs. Ultimately, the team decided upon a Brutalist look, with a fittingly forbidding atmosphere evoked in the building, which also matched well with interior sequences, already previously shot on location in France.

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The vast residential area in the city was built procedurally, from an assembled library of various roof and house shapes, and similar system was used for building the variety of brick, stone, and roof textures for the extensively used environment.

In a key action sequence of the film, Robin (Taron Egerton) is chased on horse-back across the rooftops at night by the Sheriff’s men. In several shots of this scene Cinesite’s work extended beyond the realm of creatingslag heap environments and an entirely computer-generated horse required, to navigating some of the more dangerous aspects of the stunt choreography, where the horse is seen jumping across rickety roof sections and even smashing through walls.

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Robin Hood hit the cinemas in the UK and US on 21st November 2018.

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