The Cinematography Podcast Special Episode: JoJo Rabbit

We talk with Visual Effects Supervisor Jason Chen, Makeup and Hair Designer Dannelle Satherley, and Production Designer Ra Vincent who were all part of the production team for the film Jojo Rabbit. The entire group has worked with director Taika Waititi on many of his past films. They each explain their craft and some of the tricks and techniques they used on the film. Jojo Rabbit is currently playing in theaters.

VFX Supervisor Jason Chen says a surprising amount of visual effects were used in the movie, and were blended seamlessly with real shots. He accomplished the visual effects with careful reference photography and 3D Lidar scanning. Jason and production designer Ra Vincent worked closely with cinematographer Mihai Mălaimare Jr. to meld the two. They also tried some extreme hyper-reality concepts with some of the visuals before deciding to stay within the realm of reality.

Find Jason Chen on IMDB

The main character, Jojo, gets scarred in an accidental explosion. So in pre-production for the movie, makeup and hair designer Dannelle Satherley experimented with practical scar makeup on her friends’ kids to see how it would look at different levels of extremes. She did several makeup and hair tests with Taika Waititi for his Hitler character, including a fake mustache, blue contact lenses and parted comb-over. For Sam Rockwell’s character Captain Klensendorf, she and Taika chose to have him look disheveled and rough around the edges- the opposite of a clean, organized Nazi.

Find Dannelle Satherley on IMDB

Production designer Ra Vincent created several practical set pieces for the movie, especially in Jojo’s home. Jojo’s mother Rosie has a sense of style and color that Ra wanted reflected in her house, while Jojo’s room has more of a “young Nazi” aesthetic. He built and designed the character Elsa’s hideaway crawlspace almost like a Lego, with pieces that could be inserted and removed. Cinematographer Mihai Mălaimare Jr. then had multiple spots to put cameras for different, interesting angles.

Find Ra Vincent

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Podcast Credits:

Editor in Chief:  Illya Friedman
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Ben Rock:  @neptunesalad twitter
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Producer: Alana Kode
Editor: Ben Katz
Composer: Kays Alatractchi

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