Director Carlo Van de Roer has been developing a visual language for zero gravity for years. Using his patented technology, PlateLight, the director is behind one of Thor: Love and Thunder ‘s most memorable moments, a trip to the moon featuring stars Chris Hemsworth and Christian Bale. PlateLight has allowed Van de Roer, in a new collaboration with Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi, to shoot multiple lighting setups simultaneously.
“It meant that, in post, we could control the position of the sun, move it at will, and relight the characters with interactive lighting, all using real, practical sources,” he explains.
This unprecedented capability comes after a decade of advances in filmmaking technology led by Satellite Lab, Van de Roer’s R&D studio. The director, alongside production house CASEY, has used his patented technology commercially with brands such as Meta, Lexus, Clé de Peau Beauté, LG, Apple, La Mer, and Dolby. The Marvel film marks PlateLight’s debut in cinema.
The result is a sequence that switches seamlessly between vastly different looks without the time offset. Combining the avant-garde, experimental vein of Meliès and the state-of-the-art appeal of a Marvel blockbuster, it is fertile ground for an unforgettable space encounter between good and evil.
This is Van de Roer’s second collaboration in a Thor film. In Ragnarok, the director used another of his patented technology, DynamicLight, to craft a unique look for Valkyrie’s flashback sequence. Then as now, shooting completely practically – the behind-the-scenes included real horses dressed with wings galloping across a soundstage – Van de Roer opened a rift between frame rate and light motion for a visual articulation of memory.
Thor: Love and Thunder was released earlier in the Summer and will be streaming in September.