PARIS – January 6, 2022 – Around the World in 80 Days is an epic journey that takes place over eight 47-minute episodes. Like its main character, the series, created by Ashley Pharoah and Caleb Ranson, will travel the world. It is produced by Slim Film + Television (UK) and Federation Entertainment (FR), as well as by the European Alliance formed by France Télévisions, ZDF (Germany), and RAI (Italy), and a dozen other productions based around the world.
Premiering in France on France 2 on December 20, Around the World in 80 Days is an adaptation of Jules Verne’s famous novel that tells the story of Phileas Fogg’s (David Tennant) crazy challenge: to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days. He will need all the resilience he can muster and the assistance of a quick-witted Frenchman, Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma). Joining them on the journey will be Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch), the journalist who came up with the whole crazy idea.
The MPC Film & Episodic teams in Paris and Bangalore, led by VFX producer Delphine Lasserre and VFX supervisor Hugues Namur, produced some of the visual effects for the first three episodes, set in England, France, Italy, and the Middle East, as well as those for the last two episodes set in the United States. During the eight months of work, the artists worked on more than 343 VFX shots, requiring visual effects to reflect a historical reality in the environments.
For the sequences taking place in England, some of the London settings had to be digitally recreated to match the period reality. During the crossing of the English Channel, the water was recreated in 3D FX and the scenery was overlaid on a blue background.
During the sequence taking place in France, the Parisian scenery such as the Hôtel de Ville, the Gare du Nord and the landscape overflown by the balloon had to be digitally reconstituted. Our artists completed the balloon partially built on the set to make the spectators travel in idyllic settings.
For the sequences in Italy, the balloon was this time entirely recreated in computer graphics and integrated into the landscape. For the train journey, our teams have overlaid the corresponding scenery on the images initially shot on a blue background.
For the Middle East journey, landscape creations and extensions were necessary to immerse the audience in the burning atmosphere of the desert. A sandstorm was digitally generated and the fire required great attention to detail to keep the series as close as possible to the artistic vision of the creators.
Finally, when crossing America by horse-drawn carriage, the snow-covered mountains of the Midwest were recreated in 2D matte painting, while for the sequence in New York City, sets were digitally created in 3D, such as the Brooklyn Bridge that the characters admire from the boat and the streets of the city that never sleeps.
The image post-production was also carried out entirely by the MPC Film & Episodic teams in Paris at the rue d’Hauteville premises; DI, mastering, conformation, color grading, and delivery in all languages were necessary to ensure that this series would be seen and appreciated by as many people as possible internationally.