Behind the Scenes: “Shooting Star” | Overwatch (EU)

Hi. My name is Ben Dai. I’m the director for our latest
Overwatch short, Shooting Star. And hello. I am Jake Patton,
the editor for the short. From the beginning,
when we were conceiving the story, Jeff Kaplan came to us and wanted us to tell the story of D.Va that no one else knows about. It’s the other side of D.Va
that only a few people know. We spent a lot of time, because she’s one of the most well-known
characters from the game. She has a very distinct attitude and behavior in the game,
and we wanted to preserve that, but we were trying to show a side of her that wasn’t front and center
to the public eye. I think that was probably
the hardest thing to do, to find the right balance between D.Va’s casual attitude versus her public image. Absolutely. I think a lot of it
came from the actress as well. She spent a lot of time doing game lines, so she had this very unique sound to D.Va when we were playing her. But then we asked her
to take it down a notch, and then maybe, actually, you know, play her as a normal person
a little bit more. She actually pulled it off really well,
because she just went in and started to really relate to
the character, who she is as a real… You know, it’s a real girl. The flashback scene, for me, it really works as a peek at what D.Va is carrying on her shoulders as the hero of Busan, and as the main character for our piece. And this conversation with Dae-hyun that she’s exposing what that feels like and what she feels like
she’s going through, he’s trying to be her friend
and really take some of that burden. But she’s a little standoffish. And then we get this line from Dae-hyun
that sort of sums up the whole show. It’s like,
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” And, you know,
it’s a good life lesson in general, but for D.Va that’s hard to do. Yeah, I mean,
the idea that you can’t do it alone, and sometimes even
the best soldier needs help. Yeah, exactly. So, I mean, that’s the premise
of the whole film, you know. Something that really resonated with me
when I was growing up is watching anime and seeing some of those flying missiles streaking across the sky, and I really want
to recreate that feeling. Watching some of the movies
growing up in the ’80s with airplane dogfights and stuff inspired some of these aerial-combat sequences. During production, we have a stage
after storyboard called previz, and one of our previz leads, Don Ta, he actually took it upon himself to choreograph the sequence, cutting footage
from live action and anime, animation from different movies. Just did this collage of imagery that pretty much dictated
the whole aerial-combat sequence. Yeah, it helped a lot. It was awesome. We were able to get a lot of ideas from how things would move through. And the speed at which you can cut
an air-combat scene is interesting, because there’s not much to show. It’s the vehicles and then the interiors. And we’re over water,
so it’s even simpler. But that really helped me, as far as helping to find the right feel for the pacing of the action, and still have our moments where we can
stop down and have moments like this, where they’re having a conversation, but you’re still feeling the action,
feeling that there is jeopardy and danger. It was great that he did that. From that edit, we actually created the 3D animatic, what we call the previz edit. During that time, there was a big debate on how we would actually do
the aerial-combat sequence in real 3D. Shall we cheat every single shot so that they’re not moving
an actual distance, or should we actually do it
the correct way? We ended up doing it
pretty much the correct way, except a few shots that we cheated. In order to do that, we have to come up with
the actual distance from where the omnic shows up
to the Busan city, and then the MEKA base, which is situated right in the middle, and how they interact with each other in relation to the base and the city. You can see in the sequence that we tried to make sure
that every single shot, when flying towards the city
we see the city in the background, and we situate the base where
it’s supposed to be so that you get… Even though
it’s a really simple location situation, it’s very easy for the audience,
and for us, to get lost, and forget which side we’re facing. And also the moon plays a huge role, because this entire show is lit, technically,
by one giant light source: the moon. It is practical. So the punch and the pistol moment, when we were storyboarding
these sequences, where the artists
came up with these ideas, it was really fun. At first I thought
it was a little too much, but we kept it in there
and everyone liked it. People fell in love with that sequence, so it made it all the way to the end. There’s some debate around if she should
use her gun while driving her mech. What’s the physicality of it? Is it even possible to stick her hand out? But at the end,
I thought we executed it pretty nicely. We took great care in preserving
everything from the game. The models are pretty much 1:1
to the game models, with higher resolution. The sound…
Our sound engineer did a really good job incorporating game sounds, and jazzing it up so that it feels like it belongs
in the environment. When we mixed it, we really made sure that all these game sounds showed through so that we can actually hear it
with all the other background noises. There’s a lot of animation detail
paid attention to for D.Va, because we have
so many close-ups of her face. A lot of time went into the fine details to make her face look
on-model with the game, with a little extra for cinematic needs. And especially in scenes at the end where she’s on the mech,
and we get her long hair. Yeah, absolutely. She actually went through
different variations of her outfit. When she started she had the hat on,
with her jacket, and her suit underneath. In her flashback sequence,
she had her makeup. So, basically,
she had the normal D.Va look in the game. But in our short, we felt like it’s weird
that she would have makeup, so we removed that,
then put her hair in a ponytail so it’s more of a casual look, because the omnics caught her off-guard. Then, at the very end,
we have another version without the hat, her hair is down. So there’s a lot of work going into
making her look natural. Thank you very much
for spending 7 and a half minutes with us, and we’ll see you next time.

12 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: “Shooting Star” | Overwatch (EU)

  1. It's not that the short in bad (because it isn't) but compare to the other ones… it's the worst so far. The story feels rushed, to much at some point, and the fight scene is really good until the self destruction part. Why the hell did the omnic stay to get killed? Makes no sense. She was already out of the meka and he main mission was attack busan.

    More than 6 months with out a short and we get a rushed one.

  2. So happy we finally have a D.Va short! I always suspected the phrases D.Va said were just a façade, it's great to see this side to her. Maybe we'll get some cool voice lines that link to the short

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