/News 28.09.23

Alt.vfx helps bring Amazon’s The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart to life

Australia’s Alt.vfx is celebrating another successful collaboration with Director Glendyn Ivin, with all episodes of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. 

Starring Sigourney Weaver, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Asher Keddie and Leah Purcell, the series is based on Holly Ringland’s book, and tells the story of Alice Hart, who finds her life changing dramatically when her parents die in a mysterious fire and she is sent to live with her grandmother on a flower farm.

Working with Made Up Stories and Fifth Season, the team at Alt helped Glendyn and cinematographer Sam Chiplin bring the world of Holly Ringland’s best-selling book to life, working on over 400 shots to bring the project to viewers across the globe.

Alt’s work included digitally simulating fires for the series

Led by VFX Supervisors Jason Hawkins and Dave Edwards, Alt were onboard the project from script stage, working out the unique challenges that the scripts demanded. 

“The main focus of our early discussions were locations and how we could do justice to Holly’s book,” explains Hawkins. “For the Thornfield location, because the house was so specific and the flower farm connected to it, it always felt like there would be a large amount of VFX to bring this to life.”

The dual filming locations were digitally composited in post by Alt

Exploring different options including building partial sets, shooting on stage with digital window replacements, the production eventually found both a wonderful estate and a flower farm, but with one major problem – a six hour drive between both.

Particle and pyro effects were added in post by Alt

Through location surveys and discussions with both Glendyn and Sam, Dave and Jay worked out the ideal layout for how these two sites would stitch together and set some guides for how it would be shown/executed.

“We conducted a full LiDAR scan of the flower farm so we could rebuild it with all of its imperfections in CG,” said Hawkins. “Using drone photogrammetry we then rebuilt the rolling hills outside the estate location and mapped our flower farm to this topology giving us a beautiful combination of the rolling hills of Bickham and the intricate layout of the flower farm.”

Another challenge in the script was the character of June. While Sigourney Weaver was a perfect fit for modern day June, there were quite a few flashback scenes that required her to be 30 years younger.

Working closely with Alt’s inhouse digital HMU team – Fixll – and the production HMU team, Jay and Dave found a beautiful combination of some in camera makeup techniques that combined with digital de-aging to find the perfect balance for the screen.

Sigourney Weaver was digitally de-aged by Alt for flashback scenes

You can watch Alt’s full VFX breakdown for the project in the video below:

For more information on Alt’s work in film and television, contact EP Mark Millar – [email protected]