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The Golden Compass

In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization. She's been selected by the mysteriously powerful Ms. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) to fly to London on her private airship. This is Lyra's first view of the City, but in this London, a quasi-religious, totalitarian government has guided development toward something like Gothic architecture.

Place your mouse over the images to see "before and after" comparisons for each shot.

For the cityscape, we used photos of Paris for reference. The government is housed in the gigantic, white "Magisterium" tower dominating the skyline, made of matte-painted textures and 3D architecture. The view from inside the airship is a foreground element, shot on a greenscreen stage, composited with a foreground plate of the characters. Rhythm and Hues provided the digital golden monkey "familiar." We painted in lighting shifts on the windowframe and put a reflection on the table.

Side angle of airship view

A side angle out the window shows a glimpse of a steel-and-glass airship docking station.

Film Credits
Film Credits