In cooperation with the Hungarian VFX studio Digital Apes, Planet X - with teams in Amsterdam, Groningen and Brussels - has created close to five hundred vfx shots to bring to life the Amsterdam of 1888.
Many different techniques were used by Planet X (NL) and Digital Apes (Hungary) to create a vast and detailed 3D model of Amsterdam, complete with fancily dressed inhabitants and other countless assets needed to create a believable cityscape. This 3D model (and other additional digital matte paintings and elements) could be matched to the footage shot mainly on a sound stage in Budapest, where a portion of street was build as an actual set.
Planet X Visual Effects provided the visual effects for this movie. Planet X Title Design developed the title sequence. The movie has no opening sequence, but has a long end sequence showing the main title. The typography is majestic, set in a typeface that fits the time of the movie, Amsterdam 1888.
To create a lively and rich backdrop for the historical cityscape, extensive research was done toward the design and placement of outdoor advertisement and signs. Contrary to what one would expect, researching archival footage learned that almost every inch of available space was used for outdoor advertising and the use of other signage. Planet X redesigned countless digital elements to place unto the facades of the 3d city model.
Type Budapest-Kaleti trainstation was opened in 1884 and designed in eclectic style. The main hall matches Amsterdam Centraal Station both in its layout and incidence of light. Because many scenes were shot in Budapest and the film's production could actually have an authentic steam engine entering the station, Kaleti formed the basis for a shot in which we see Vedder's nephew arrive by train. The angular roof in the shot was replaced by the typical arched dome of Amsterdam Central Station. Direction signs and other elements were, mostly with the help of The Railway Station, replaced or modified to match the historical setting around 1888.
'Public Works' is the film adaptation of the eponymous Dutch Libris Literature Prize laureate and bestselling novel by Thomas Rosenboom and tells the story of the violin maker Walter Vedder. When he learns that at the site of his house a large hotel is to be built, he and his cousin see an opportunity to make some money. But their plans turn out less successful than hoped...