I mentioned that during the flight I had some ideas for side projects that I could do here much more easily than in Vancouver. One of them follows along the lines of pOrtal, an app that allows you to control the atmospheric conditions on your surroundings.
I spent a couple hours yesterday working on the design of the app, much cleaner than the previous one:
And today’s afternoon getting plenty of After Effects expressions hooked up together to animate the thing almost from a single layer, named CTRL which holds several sliders and knobs. The previous time I used the video directly on the phone. Now I’ll try replacing the screen, so the animation can sync perfectly and I can tweak things if needed.
For the shooting process, since I’m in the middle of a tropical winter, we got all sorts of weather across a very brief time frame. I’ll set up the camera on a slightly safe position, encase it so if there’s a hailstorm, it doesn’t die on me, and timelapse for two straight days, taking a picture every two minutes. This will then be converted into a 30 seconds video, with a narration on top, explaining the app. After that, we’ll shoot my hand on a green screen, interacting with the phone, and adjust the lighting on the fly so it matches the weather on the timelapse. The third step is replacing the screen for the animation, which is easy enough at this point in the game.
I think the trickiest part will be matching the lighting on my hand well enough to the plates so it doesn’t feel off, but that’s at least half the fun. More updates will come as the work evolves.
Seria incrível se a vida tivesse uma coisa de identificar os motivos pelos quais a gente se fode. Por exemplo “dia tal, você não atendeu o telefone às 19h30, com a oferta de emprego, a pessoa seguinte aceitou”. Ou “dia dezoito você ignorou aquela mensagem, e isso desencadeou (insira aqui a desgraça ocorrida)”. Eu tiraria uns meses pra estudar o tanto de desgraça que me acontece, porque não é possível que seja pura sorte ou acaso. Ou, a essa altura do campeonato eu já teria aprendido a fazer algumas coisas certas, que aparentmente errei em TODAS as chances que tive.
I was rereading my previous post and, hell, it makes everything look grim and shitty when it wasn’t quite the reality. Sure, I focused on the downside of everything because that was my moment and I really felt the need to summarize how I let things snowball. I’m not sure if I could’ve gotten out of it earlier, if there was a simple choice that would’ve changed everything, but let’s not dwell in the sad past and talk about some of last year’s good bits.
On the top of the list of things I started learning right from the start are modeling and texturing. I had zero previous experience with these things. I had zero experience with 3D at all. I couldn’t make a cube. I understood the concept and everything, but Maya was a worthy opponent for the two first terms with all our props, environment and character. Modeling the environment is something I won’t ever forget, for I went to my building every single day for weeks, measuring every little piece of it and drawing things down so I could remember when I got home. Photos didn’t help much, I don’t know why, I always felt more comfortable drawing and taking my notes down on paper. It also taught me to build things at 1:1 scale, which is key to VFX. I like to use document shredding services when are private, every day customers provide businesses with information that they consider to be extremely confidential.
Texturing the environment was not my best performance, but both composing and compositing the shot and getting the lighting right was a blast because it was one of the first times we we’re able to do our own things, instead of a standard assignment for everyone like most of the three first terms’ comp classes. This and the Later Alliegator were the assignments that really taught me how to plan render layers and how to deal with them inside Nuke.
I won’t go too much into the whole character modeling and surfacing process because that’s something that stole some good nights of sleep away. I don’t plan on modeling humanoid shapes any time soon! It was really useful for lineflow, though, but Andi turned out so ugly that I think she could double as the alien and probably be scarier.
Back to Term 1, modeling the objects was a lot of fun, and since it was something entirely new to me, I was able to work on them for hours on end until it was as close to right as I thought they could be. Sure, that made start the gun about four times, and the chair a lot more than that. These things made me realize the power (good and bad) of beveling stuff. Lighting the Still Life was my heaviest render so far, for I wasn’t comp-smart yet and could’ve achieved much better – and controllable – results in a fraction of the time. The whole thing took 16 hours to render and I still wanted to tweak some of it but there was no more time – thank God!
The bright side of stressing out about every single assignment is that, looking back, I don’t think I could’ve done any of them any better at the time – and even today, it wouldn’t be the easiest thing on my own – except the character, I don’t feel that good showing Andi around.
Then, from the point we start to work in our reels, I feel the learning curve slows down a bit. It’s not such a huge volume of new concepts to process, but the volume of the work itself increases immensely, as well as the pressure to get things moving in a proper rhythm. I don’t know about the animation and modeling folks, but for the VFX stream, reshooting is a huge pain. After the third time I was finally getting smart about it, learning from my previous mistakes and planning how I should do it so the shot worked once I had to track it, or clean it, or whatever. I missed a stronger presence from the instructors in this part of the process, which is very much trial and error, when it could be a lot less stressful if we had even a rough draft of what each shot would need in post. At this stage we know what we want to achieve, and sometimes have a vague idea of what will be the steps involved.
In one of my shots I had to paint stuff out. A LOT of stuff. The first time I shot it, it was impossible, acting wasn’t right, the beats were messed up and the shot was untrackable. The second time around, I still didn’t get the right feeling from it and it was still untrackable, even though I changed my approach radically. By the third time, I called my director side – which only works once or twice a year – and took extreme measures to grant I wouldn’t have to reshoot that thing, by setting up a thousand tracking markers. Ok, not a thousand, but about ten, which is still way too much for that shot, now I know. The shot was finally workable, but still the hardest shot in the entire reel.
That being said, it’s worth mentioning I already had plenty of hours of on-set experience, shooting the way we shoot our reels – minimal crew and gear. That helped a lot during planning, physical lighting, testing and developing the concept for the reel. Most of the students don’t have this kind of experience, and this makes their life a lot harder. Clem and I kind of got in everyone’s shoots to help as much as we could and these very short sets are also on the list of top moments. I think I’m a different person on set, a lot less worried about life.
Animation always felt more like a task than something I really enjoyed doing. Sorry folks! I don’t know why. I learned a lot of useful things in Maya during these classes, but the only assignment that actually got me inspired to work harder was the Personality Walk. I don’t know if I felt that it wouldn’t be so useful for VFX, or if I just don’t like doing it. The definitive proof of it was the moment I tried to animate my alien, for the duration of 48 frames, I could get about 12 right and 36 crappy ones and had to ask for backup. This took me four days. Fernão fixed and nailed it all in less than an afternoon.
Then we have Design, Life Drawing and Visual Storytelling classes. At first I didn’t enjoy these. I didn’t like my drawings, I kept thinking I couldn’t draw anything at all. I still think they’re not good, but these classes and the assignments got me comfortable with my lines and now I think my sketches are understandable enough to explain something to others, instead of sticking to words. Words can’t do enough when trying to convey a visual thing.
Rigging is something that could’ve gotten me, if I didn’t have my mind so set in VFX. It’s complicated enough to be interesting and follows very logical steps, just my kind of thing. I don’t think I remember all the classes in a decent way, but I sure have a lot of notes to which I can go back and try to work from. I had my fling with rigging while doing the trashbin which was supposed to be in my reel, I used on the Spider and it ended up as key element in Sean’s reel. Doing this trashbin on my own taught me a lot too, while I kept going back to my notes from classes in order to figure out modeling and surfacing issues.
In Term 3 we got to the Spider and I developed a loathing for tracking that isn’t fully behind me yet. I shot my plates a thousand times and it NEVER worked. Miles was my savior here showing me how to get it working. Later on, his method would fail to many other shots, but eventually I got them working – or Petar came to save me! Other than tracking, this assignment was amazing and using what we had learned from comping our other 3d scenes as well as how to match elements to the plate, we finally got a real taste of VFX. The animation took me forever, though, because I just didn’t feel like doing it, thinking it would look crappy. We can’t forget about RGB lighting which is, by far, the best way to achieve integration and quickly tweak things without having to re-render. The rim shader is a cheat I use in every single one of my elements too, which works based on the same principles of RGB lighting.
The spider also got me into an HDRI frenzy which made me buy a fisheye lens (which I always wanted but never had a good excuse), and a Nodal Ninja, so I could shoot all the environments I wanted to get perfect reflections and image based lighting.
From the spider forward I promised myself to try and make all my key assignments reel-worthy. That might’ve been a stupid decision, but I still feel quite proud of them. I finally understood what was a camera projection and several ways of doing it – which was an essential skill to get some of my reel’s shots and something I feel very comfortable doing, since it doesn’t have a lot of catches and “if”s. I liked it so much that my Set Extension assignment has four different projections, most of them done in a single take. I learned the importance of painting – not plain painting, on a white background, but fixing real stuff in projections, covering the hidden areas, removing things that went through the geo and such – and when I think back to that scorpion in Term 1, I would’ve never guessed I’d feel so at ease when painting plates and breaking layers.
OH! UVs! Almost forgot them! I rely on UVs a lot for my projections and I have to thank our first two terms, when I struggled a lot to understand their value and the best way to unwrap stuff or fix UV related issues.
Ok, now comp itself. The first terms weren’t that exciting since I had some experience from After Effects and a lot of theory about how things worked. This made my life a lot easier in the beginning and still helps me today when facing problems I never seen before. Aside from this, our classes with Farhad were amazing – we got some of Nuke’s inner workings that make life so much easier, and a lot of “why” we do things a certain way -, and Pat was also great. He would be a better mentor than instructor though, he would be a GREAT mentor, actually, but, sorry, there’s just no way to beat Werner. I can’t emphasize enough how important is his role on the process of getting my reel to work and how important his friendship has been during this entire “Vancouver adventure”, for talking about my worries and fears – not all of them at first -, and feeling I was able to reach out to him and get real answers was invaluable.
As an overall comment, while individual classes might not be so hard or heavy, the whole VFS pack is pretty hardcore. When I look back to how we started Term 1 and compare to what we know now, it seems impossible but it’s real. As the title states, you either learn it all quickly or you’ll have plenty of sleepless nights catching up. At some points this isn’t even an option, no matter how quick you learn you’ll still lose a few nights. I have no complains at all towards the school, administration or staff. For me, they couldn’t be any better than they are, and if I had to choose between going through it one more time, now entirely aware about the pace of the course, I wouldn’t think twice and sign up again.
It’s exactly a full year since I left home and arrived in Canada.
The promise – the dream – was the motto “This is MY year“. Just coming out of university, shooting a guerilla-style webseries of my own creation, a beautiful – and smart, and funny, and hot, and talented – girlfriend by my side, as excited as I was to get here. Living together without having to share the apartment with anyone else. Making all the decisions, living abroad for the first time for the both of us. What the hell could go wrong?
I came in almost three months earlier while she wrapped up her degree. In the meantime I would find us proper housing, set up the place, get used to the life and start classes. Summer in Vancouver, again, what could go wrong? I came with a friend, with everything set up to stay at another friend’s place, one I hadn’t met before but sounded quite the nice guy. He’s a nice guy indeed. Day one we went to sort out all the practical stuff – phone, id, bank account, all that crap – and he let me stay at his place until I could find my own. We had a lot of fun during the first month, and I ended up getting an awesome apartment in an awesome building for a very good price. Me and May worked everything out for the apartment. Before going to IKEA we tore their website apart, figuring which pieces of furniture I should get, and where to put them in our home so it was a thing we built together and not the hack and slash it would be if I did it on my own – just to give an idea I lived a month with just a mattress on the floor, a sidetable doubling as dinner table, bike, notebook and a cool red armchair we got off Craigslist.
Every day was a different adventure and we walked a lot. A LOT, as in over 15km daily, exploring the neighborhood, enjoying the canadian politeness, getting lost, feeling lost, and getting used to the new environment. Classes started and the excitement went up even higher. What a shit ton of new stuff to learn. Damn, 3D modeling? I’ve tried it before on my own at least once a year and never got past the first week of tutorials since the menus always got fucked up. Everything else was kind of ok, but we had an absurd amount of assignments each week, cramming in knowledge the best way possible, taking notes and fighting off the always approaching deadlines.
Since my life was pretty simple in this first term, I had no worries about anything but getting that shit done. One sentence summarizes it all: “Wake up, get to school, get home, sleep. Repeat”. I was like clockwork for I had nothing else.
The term was getting close to the end by the time Nicko arrived to stay a couple weeks at my place. Was it a couple weeks? It sure as hell felt like it, considering the number of nights we went on modeling stuff, discussing lineflow, playing Left 4 Dead, The Last of Us, and messing around with MEL scripts. Not long after that May arrived. I got very anxious about one week before and could barely eat with anticipation. It was just the beginning. My appetite wouldn’t recover any time soon, but I didn’t know that yet.
I don’t feel comfortable getting into details about our things, but I’ll say things weren’t great. Term 2 was going extreme and I had a share of sleepless nights. Now, a little bit about myself and work: I love what I do, as in I love the work, figuring out things, solving problems, fighting shaders and painting crap on Photoshop. The downside: I never learned how to turn it off. Back home, I used to work on set, and once you leave the set, there’s nothing to work on. We always had time for each other and never thought much about it, just felt natural. Was there any other way of being? Not that we knew of. In Vancouver that wasn’t quite the case. You can always get up at 5 in the morning to check renders and set them right, or dream about a particular fix for a comp and get up to test it out. Maybe my mistake was having the possibility of working from home. Maybe that’s what kept me alive for so long.
Back to the time issue. There I was, struggling with an even higher stack of assignments, May was living her Term 1, which is always amazing and inspiring, and even though I spent a reasonable amount of time at home, I was never entirely out of thinking about modeling and texturing the damned character, environment, rendering the Later Alliegator and storyboarding the Alien Encounter. All of that while trying to come up with any brilliant ideas for the reel. Writing it down now makes me question how the fuck didn’t I notice it was a recipe for madness.
Term 2 was finally over, but the damage would come in its wake. It was during Term 3 that I started going down, double guessing my decisions and the whole point of being in Vancouver. For quite a while I didn’t feel like doing anything at all but watching TV. I started to wonder if my pitch for the reel would work at all, I kept getting the “keep on doing what you doing” feedback, which is disturbing when you’re in for the learning. After about a month of “keep on going” we had our individual meetings with our Supervisor and that was something in the lines of a nightmare. At this point I hadn’t yet learned that criticism isn’t personal and I was still very attached to the story I wanted to tell. Silly me. Everything went upside down and I didn’t touch anything related to my reel for about three more weeks. Then, lightning struck in the Term’s last week and I got a surge of inspiration to get things moving again.
In the meanwhile I had several emotional breakdowns solved singlehandedly by May, and later on, with my parents and therapy/counselling. But the beginning was hard. I was already skinny by this point. We wouldn’t go out to eat for I’d feel sick right before starting to eat, I wouldn’t eat what we cooked at home because it got me nervous for unknown reasons, I wouldn’t eat at school because I felt insecure about myself in several aspects and playing it cool so no one would notice. For more than a month I carried a bag of nuts and raisins inside my coat so I could eat whenever I felt I wouldn’t get instantly sick. I kept the crisis from anyone – even May and my parents – for a very long time, thinking – hoping? – it was just a ‘thing’ that would wear out soon enough.
We also had the near-freezing experience to add some more layers of damage and the winter itself made me miserable. The temperature NEVER drops below 23 where I come from. My most extreme situation before Canada was 8 degrees and not even for more than one day. The lack of Sun, short days and constant raining boosted the cold-and-alone feeling. Until this point I used to bike to school, but I was feeling so weak by not eating that I just stopped until I recovered or the weather improved. Neither of which happened.
For our christmas break, the original plan was head to Los Angeles and enjoy the Sunshine State for a few days, since we’re so close to it, when compared to Brazil. I didn’t feel anything like doing that anymore by the time we got to December. I just wanted to go home. I needed something I knew, I couldn’t stand feeling lost or insecure anymore. We came home for less than ten days and saw 2014 turn into 2015 inside an airplane. Most depressing New Year party of my life and I’m comparing that to the previous year when one of my cats DIED. The best thing during this short break was being beside May. I feel like home wherever I am with her.
2015 has been so fast so far that I can’t even explain. And still, it feels like a decade since I left home a year ago. Days feel like weeks and one week seems to last for about three, based on the amount of stuff we do and work on and think about and deal with, not only at school but regarding our apartment – bills, dishes, laundry, insomnia, changing the sheets every once in a while, keeping it kind of clean – and the messed up reality of work permits for international students.
Things haven’t improved, overall, in my daily life – I still don’t eat properly, don’t sleep all too well, and things are far from fine with the love of my life. Last saturday I got sick. Hardcore sick. My appetite had ups and downs over the months but then it was absolutely gone. Nothing could go down, I couldn’t stand looking at food or drinks. I think it was something I ate. This was one of my worst fears while losing weight: getting to a critical point where a flimsy flu could knock me dead. No improvement on Sunday. On Monday May escorted me to the hospital where I hang while waiting for test results and diagnosis. The doctor prescribed me some pills and it seemed to work. Then Tuesday come to prove I had NO IDEA how sick I could endure. All these days I barely left the bed. It wasn’t just the sickness, I didn’t feel inspired or motivated to work on anything or even watch TV. God bless all those books and comics I hadn’t read yet, for that was all that kept me from total boredom and despair.
Being sick sucks. Being sick and alone is even worst. May had her assignments to do at school all day and I can’t stand the idea of holding her back at all. So I spent hours and hours chatting with my parents. Hell, I think I dehydrated from all the crying too. Remember that thing of being unable to turn my tasks off? Well, that expanded to all aspects of life. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to feel better soon, how I wanted to be a better boyfriend, to work harder, to enjoy the sun outside, to enjoy A DECENT FUCKING MEAL WITHOUT GETTING SICK BY JUST THINKING ABOUT IT and so on. And no signs of getting any better.
Wednesday evening, talking to my parents, they suggested coming back for a while, to get better. At the moment, it felt a little desperate. “I can push through this! There’s only a month left!”. Five minutes later it felt like the world’s greatest idea. It was just a month, but then what? I would miraculously heal as soon as school was over? What about work? What would I be doing? If I’m planning to stay on Canada, it sure wouldn’t be feeling the way I did for a long time. It didn’t get better at all over time. It was time for a change, and a radical one.
I don’t know if the sickness wore off naturally, or if my unusual state of happiness kicked it down, but I was able to actually accomplish a lot in that last Thursday, letting everyone know about the problem at hand, contacting the school administration, instructors, close friends and solving any pending issues related to my return. I can’t describe how much better I felt for all the things I heard from my class, and not only that, but every one that played a part in this story. Helped me figure out some issues and also part feel as of the group, embraced by plenty “get better”s and “see you soon”s.
I had something to finish off this post, but writing it wasn’t the easiest of tasks and I’m ending it just like this.
Flights and connections are usually boring and pretty straightforward and would never deserve a post, but I experienced some strange coincidences during my return to Brazil that I thought worthwhile writing about.
First of all I left school during the morning break of our Final Presentations and got on a taxi towards YVR. I faced the broken Skytrain as a signal to not use public transit on my journey, and that proved a good thing a little later. We faced some traffic, sure, but got to the airport quickly and in time for me to realize my name was messed up on the boarding ticket and I had to fix that or my passport wouldn’t be of any use at all.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Titoguimaras Ferradans!”
That was quite easy and since I didn’t have much to do in the airport I went straight to the boarding gate. C42. This is the furthest gate from the point you enter YVR’s boarding area. I was feeling a little weak from being sick and not eating properly, plus my handbag was overly heavy. I dragged myself across the entire terminal at turtle speed, taking breaks in the process. I kept thinking “Why couldn’t I be lucky for once and have like… the closest boarding gate ever?”. Near the very end, when you’re almost at the gat, there’s ONE of those crawlers that carried me for about 15 meters. By the time I was getting out of it, the song ended on the iPod exactly in time for me to hear an Air Canada employee calling my name. The flight was supposed to leave at 2pm, and it was 11:45am. Using the strength I had left in me, I hurried there with my single lead-filled handbag.
The attendant was a very nice guy, who was able to transfer me to an earlier flight so I’d have more time to spare in Toronto, since my connection time was a little tight. The new flight was leaving at 1:15pm. Boarding gate? C50. THE VERY FIRST ONE WHEN YOU GET TO THE BOARDING AREA. So much for wishing to board in one of the first gates… And now I had way less time to get there and no crawlers at all. I considered jumping in one of those small carts that roll around with airport staff, but my landing would be very rough when taking the bags weight into account.
Let’s just say I got there in time and the place was hectic. Apparently there were many others transferred into this flight, so we had to hang around until they figured out our seats. I think I got the very last one.
The flight was fine, I tried watching Exodus, which turned out to be the most boring epic movie I’ve ever seen and about one hour in I started to doodle some ideas for VFX, since I’ll have a doubled Term 6 and wanted to do something other than Hovering Lights using assignments and older shots, as well as shooting a couple new plates while here in Brazil, where I know people with lots of gear and willing to have fun shooting. It was born – more like revamped – the Ultimate VFX Toolkit, which will be introduced here soon and requires very little work to be done – a lot of motion graphics, though.
Again, at Toronto, my boarding gate was E78, one of the furthest options from where we landed. Lots of crawlers on the way, this time. People went rushing through them while I enjoyed the ride and being free of overly heavy bags. The time I saved getting the earlier flight was well spent riding these things like there was nothing better in the entire trip. I still got to the gate with plenty of time until boarding and kept on reading my virtual books – “The 100”, which inspired the TV show, which is MUCH better than the books themselves, but I only realized that when finishing up the third book, rounding up 700 pages along the week.
The second flight was longer, 10 hours, and I slept a good part of it, read until the book was over and wrote some more ideas and thoughts. I should’ve brought another of these small notebooks…
We finally got to Sao Paulo, and I still had to hang around for another two hours before the third – and last – flight. During this time I brought my brazilian phone back to life, remembered 3g internet here doesn’t work at all, called my parents – neither of them picked up! hahaha – and got to the right boarding terminal. This time there were no surprises with my name in the ticket. No surprises either when I found out the boarding gate was – again – the furthest away from the entrance point. Stupid me, kept thinking “why do I always get this lucky?”. And, twenty minutes left to start boarding, the gate was changed too, to the second one closest to the entrance. By this point I could barely feel my left hand from carrying the goddamned bag, but I know bringing the camera and hard-drives will pay off quickly being here for a month.
On the plane, I was rewarded having free seats all around me. The only free seats on the plane, by the way. Then I could relax properly and write down some more plans for the UVK. Two and a half hours on the air and I was finally home.
God, it feels good to be home.
From the airport me and my mom went straight to the beach, to make some offerings to Yemanja and ask for her blessing upon my return and future departure. The sun was setting and it was not even 5pm. The water was warm and I almost plunged into it. “Almost” as “got 90% in”. Then we finally came home, met my dad and talked about what I just wrote up here. I went to bed no later than 9pm, which equals 5pm in Vancouver.
Tirei terça feira passada, ainda no break, como um dia de cinema. Fui diminuir um pouco o atraso com os últimos lançamentos – que agora já voltou a aumentar, com Avengers, mas isso fica pra depois. Na minha lista estavam Kingsman, que já tá fazendo aniversário em cartaz (Chappie entrou e saiu e Kingsman continua), e Furious 7, graças aos trailers absurdos e toda a questão da morte de Paul Walker, num acidente de carro.
Em relação a Kingsman eu tinha boas expectativas, o trailer era divertido, só tinha medo de ser muito adolescente, apesar da temática de espionagem e ação. Se eu tivesse visto que era direção do Matthew Vaughn essa preocupação não existiria. A cabeça por trás de Kick Ass acerta de novo em termos de entretenimento com um filme fácil de absorver, recheado com sequências de ação muito bem planejadas e executadas, personagens empáticos – até o vilão é daqueles que você acha tão divertido que podia sobreviver. Pensando na trama, fico inclinado a dizer que o protagonista é o Eggsy – Taron Egerton -, mas os eventos são muito bem divididos entre o garoto e o personagem de Colin Firth (Galahad).
Galahad inclusive toma parte na sequência de ação mais absurda do filme, quando o vilão – interpretado por Samuel L. Jackson – decide testar sua arma de destruição em massa. É uma coisa tão alucinante – e violenta – que, em primeiro lugar, eu jamais esperava ver no cinema, em segundo lugar, não achei que ia acontecer do começo ao fim sem montagem paralela, ou sem um corte que deixasse o resultado no suspense. É um mata-mata desgraçado que até impressiona quando penso que a censura é 16 anos (rated R), e não 18.
No fim do filme também tem uma outra sequência com potencial incrível para sanguinolência, mas a equipe do filme conseguiu arrumar uma solução com muito estilo e personalidade pra resolver o problema. Não vou dizer o que é porque é um puta spoiler, mas não dá pra ficar na dúvida, porque é a única coisa no filme que não é representada de forma realística!
Agora, vamos à segunda parte, Furious 7.
Antes de assistir ao filme, já estava surpreso porque a avaliação dele no Rotten Tomatoes é maior do que a soma de alguns outros filmes da franquia (2 Fast 2 Furious e Tokyo Drift, por exemplo). Tem toda a questão de que algumas cenas foram feitas com um dublê digital de Paul Walker, porque foram “rodadas” depois da morte do ator – por trágica ironia, num acidente de carro – então tinha muita gente curiosa pra comparar essa versão digital com a real, ambas no mesmo filme. Além disso, não é lá muito comum blockbusters com atores falecidos, o último caso que me lembro foi o Batman, com Heath Ledger interpretando o Coringa, que também bombou de bilheteria.
Achei elegante que as duas últimas cenas do filme amarram com a saída do ator da série, e com um simbolismo até interessante – talvez eu estivesse muito emocionado depois de tanto entretenimento nas duas horas anteriores – de estradas que se separam, todo o elenco assistindo ele e a esposa (na série) brincando com o filho numa praia deserta e meio que comentando a participação dele na história, desde o começo da série, lá em 2001. Sei lá, acho que é algo meu, admirar quando um produto audiovisual mostra que é consciente de si mesmo em relação ao mundo real – o mesmo acontece no final da quinta temporada de Community, onde o Abed faz vários comentários que só fazem sentido no contexto de que a série podia estar mesmo chegando ao fim, mas podia ter esperança também.
Não tenho defeito pra botar nas sequências de ação do filme. Se as dos filmes anteriores já eram absurdas, esse tem perseguições mais longas, referências a eventos passados e muito mais adrenalina. Tem vários momentos que eu senti que tava vendo um 007 das antigas, que eram maravilhosos – em grande parte – graças às mentiras absurdas, que fazem sentido no universo da história. O filme todo funciona como um fechamento para a série, resolvendo dramas presentes desde o quarto volume, amarrando com personagens do Tokyo Drift, o vilão de Furious 6, e mais outras tantas referências. O próximo – porque não acho que a franquia esteja acabando aqui – tem liberdade pra começar algo novo, e isso é algo que pode ser tanto bom como péssimo. Torçamos, porque esses filmes de carro são muito divertidos!
Um breve comentário sobre as três ou quatro vezes que personagens caem girando/rolando e a câmera acompanha, dando a impressão de que o personagem está se movendo pouco e é o mundo que tá girando. Foi um efeito que na primeira vez que apareceu – logo nas primeiras cenas – eu achei interessante e fiquei querendo ver mais vezes, agradeço ao filme por não ter usado uma vez só.