Designing Dumbo – How VFX brought Tim Burton’s elephant to life

VFX supervisor Richard Stammers discusses his role in the making of Disney’s live-action adventure.

Little White Lies

Disney’s latest live-action feature sees one of its most beloved character reborn on the big screen almost 80 years after audiences we first introduced to him. Dumbo is Tim Burton’s imaginative retelling of a young circus elephant whose oversized ears enable him to fly.

In order to realise his vision, the director turned to London-based post-production house MPC, who were responsible for digitally rendering the film’s pint-sized pachyderm protagonist. Dumbo was primarily shot at Pinewood and Cardington studios, with MPC’s various teams – comprising 1200 VFX artists and production crew – delivering 1150 shots for the film over the course of two and a half years.

To get a better sense of exactly what it is a company like MPC does, we spoke to the film’s visual effects supervisor, Richard Stammers, about the various creative processes that went into designing Dumbo. It’s the latest video in our Credit Role series, which spotlights some of the talented folk working below the line in the film industry, whose craftsmanship doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

Watch the full video interview below and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more.

Published 11 Apr 2019

Tags: Richard Stammers Tim Burton

Related Articles

The Art of Practical Special Effects in Movies, with Dan Martin

By Little White Lies

Watch Ben Wheatley’s go-to prosthetic effects artist reveal the secrets of his craft.

Dumbo

By Hannah Woodhead

Tim Burton’s overstuffed and underwhelming sideshow act lacks a sense of wonder.

review

Psycho vs Psycho – Hitchcock’s classic vs Gus Van Sant’s remake

By Leigh Singer

A side-by-side video comparison of the seminal 1960 horror and its near-identical 1998 update.

What are you looking for?

Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.

Editorial

Design