Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga


Directed by David Dobkin, Netflix’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga follows two small-town singers named Lars and Sigrit, played by Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams, as they chase their pop star dreams at the global music competition Eurovision. There, they confront high stakes, scheming rivals and onstage mishaps that test their bond.

David Dobkin
MPC VFX Supervisor
Chris Uyede

MPC was the lead VFX vendor for the feature delivering 369 VFX shots total. Over the course of an 8-month period, including adjusting to work from home set ups as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out worldwide, MPC VFX Supervisor Chris Uyede and VFX Producer Marie-Eve Authier oversaw work from 446 artists across the Montreal and Bangalore studios. From crowd enhancements, digital environments, creating a fiery ghost spectre of Demi Lovato, to fantastical music video montages – it was up to the MPC team to produce VFX shots that complimented and amplified the comedic tone of the film’s narrative.

During the opening sequence of the film, the MPC team worked on multiple establishing environment shots of the Icelandic port town of Húsav´ík, the hometown of our protagonists. VFX were used to convert the bright, summertime town into a cold, dark, wintery landscape by adding matte painted and simulated snow and ice everywhere from buildings to the boats in the harbour. Later in the film, while the protagonists envision their Eurovision dreams coming true, they perform the Song “Volcano Man” in the form of an imagined, epic music video. The VFX team helped place the protagonists into fantastical Icelandic landscapes full of hot magma and even placed a pair of well-choreographed whales breaching in the water while they perform their imagined musical number.

After a particularly disappointing performance, Lars and Sigrit look out over a pier in Iceland and watch a party boat, containing famous singer Katiana, played by Demi Lovato, erupt in flames before their eyes. CG water, a digital boat explosion, as well as the Northern Light visible in the sky above were added into the scene to heighten the dramatic effect of the disaster. Katiana’s ghost, visibly burnt from the boat explosion, haunts our protagonists after they’ve witnessed her untimely death. VFX were used to removed one of Katiana’s arms, and recreate her hair using CG in order to add digital fire and ember simulations to her ghostly spectre. The most complex work the VFX team completed was creating a digitally constructed arena where the Eurovision competition takes place. In order to complete this work, the team constructed a 3D version of the arena and combined renders with plates shot both on a soundstage in the UK as well as footage shot in Tel Aviv, Israel during the real Eurovision contest in 2019. The team built a cast of thousands of crowd agents to populate the stands based on photos of extras shot on set. VFX were also used to replicate the spectacular lightshows involved in the arena performances of Eurovision. Hundreds of spotlights and LED panels in the stadium were rigged and procedurally animated to fit into the various arena sequences


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