There has been a hold-up in the post-production process for Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” It does seem to be a case of unrealistic expectations in regards to the CGI being used for the de-aging process — something an old-school filmmaker like Scorsese probably didn’t expect to happen. After all, he is used to finding great shots through composition and experimentation, not drawing them into existence. The de-aging process being used here seems to require more than just filmmaking talent, but rather a hefty amount of VFX talent as well.
During an appearance on A24’s “A Bigger Canvas” podcast, Scorsese told “The Souvenir” director Joanna Hogg that the VFX required to de-age the actors has not gone as fluidly as planned. It also sounds like he is adamant at taking a perfectionist approach to the film’s de-aging process and wants the de-aged faces to look as realistic as possible. During this same conversation, he also adds that the process has left him nervous about the finished product. “Why I’m concerned, we’re all concerned is that we’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” he said. “The Irishman" is said to cut back and forth between various timelines to tell its story of hitman Frank Sheeran:
“Even this new one I'm doing, The Irishman, or the actual title should be I Heard You Paint Houses, we shot as much 35 as possible. However, there's a great deal of CGI because we're doing this youthification of De Niro, Pesci, and Al Pacino. They had to be CGI. They had to be a camera with three lenses. I was just crazy. Why I'm concerned, we're all concerned is that we're so used to watching them as the older faces. When we put them all together, it cuts back and forth. The thing I talked about before in New York to you. Now, it's real. Now, I'm seeing it. Now, certain shots need more work on the eyes, need more work on why these exactly the same eyes from the plate shot, but the wrinkles and things have changed. Does it change the eyes at all? If that's the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?”