The Final Flight of the Osiris is Flying High

By Paul Martin April 3rd, 2003, in The Animatrix

The Daily Telegraph has an article about Final Flight of the Osiris, the prelude to The Matrix Reloaded, which picks up right where this short left off. With a bang..

The Animatrix on DVD

The Animatrix DVD

Enter the Matrix on GC, Xbox, PS2, and PC

Enter the Matrix

The Soundtrack for The Matrix Reloaded, 2-Discs

Matrix Reloaded: 2-Disc Soundtrack

The Final Flight of the Osiris is already winning fans, writes MICHAEL BODEY.

In Australia, most feature films are made for less than $8 million.

Australian visual-effects supervisor James Rogers and his team at Square USA had $8 million at their disposal merely to make an 11-minute short film to complement the new sequels to the modern cult film, The Matrix .

Despite the generous budget, they didn’t quite know what their film, Final Flight of the Osiris, would become.

“We were originally asked to make an instalment for the DVD, The Animatrix,” says Rogers. “We didn’t know at the time it was going to be ‘The Matrix 1.5’. We read about that after it was finished.”

The computer-generated short film shows the exploits of the crew of the hovercraft Osiris as they attempt to get a crucial message back to Zion.

As such, it follows on from the original Matrix film, affects events in the upcoming Enter The Matrix video game and sets off the events in the much-anticipated first sequel, The Matrix: Reloaded.

For the team of developers at Square USA, this job was exactly what they needed.

“It was a strange assignment but we’d just come off Final Fantasy and we were a bit sick of the negative coverage we’d got on that,” says Rogers.

“To be handed The Matrix, which had this legacy and following, was so interesting to us.”

Interesting because his team was able to push the dream of believable digital human beings for the screen one step further.

On big-budget flop Final Fantasy, the world was told the computer-generated humans would be photo-realistic, indistinguishable from the real thing.

The developers knew that wouldn’t happen. Yet.

“That marketing was frustrating to us,” says Rogers, “so Osiris was a big advance. After we’d done Final Fantasy, we knew exactly what not to do.”

They knew not to be too geeky and to focus on cinematic issues more than computer ones. Also, improvements in speed and process ensured Osiris was a far more enjoyable, and ultimately successful, experience.

“This time we were more focused,” he said. “In Final Fantasy, the brief was to animate the humans like the humans. In The Animatrix, it was to make them more anime-like and, funnily enough, they’re more realistic.”

Already, the positive verdict is in on Osiris. It’s a major achievement, a captivating and humorous adventure that loses nothing from being created digitally.

And Rogers hasn’t lost all hope for Final Fantasy.

“Box office-wise, it was a failure and maybe the story wasn’t that hot, but it was a significant step for digital characters, as is this film,” he says

Source: Daily Telegraph

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