Arcane interview: how League Of Legends broke the video game movie curse

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PD: I think the series looks astonishing. It captures the League Of Legend look but has such a visual flourish to it. How was the process of finding that outlook with Fortiche? It seemed like a strong evolution of the K/DA look, which they worked on before.

CL: Well, a lot of it was the in-house style for Fortiche, that we kind of just looked for and I think we were drawn to. I think from their early work on, they hit this kind of – you said it already – it’s animated and it has some of that stylised quirkiness that League also has. Yet it just felt at home on a big screen.

The amount of work we’ve put into, ‘How does the camera actually feel like it was held by a person?’ for example. Or every little example like, ‘How exactly Powder, when Jinx was young… how her hair was cut, so it looks like she did it herself with a snip and she didn’t think about what it would look like if it was cut off,’ you know? There were all these little things and these little details that sometimes in an animation just kind of happen quickly and without much detail. But I think you need to go to that level to have a cinematic look. So, we always chase that cinematic thing.

There are many times when you have to say, ‘Okay, we have to pause because the hair doesn’t look right.’ I don’t know, ‘The lighting, is too simple?’ Or we need to have different elements that create enough of that little bit of life. I think it’s all about these imperfections.

Whenever you film something that’s real, it’s never perfect. You always try to get as close as possible, but it’s never going to be perfect. And how do you create that artificially I think it was always a big question for us. That when we’re filming something, like water droplets are on the lens, or we don’t have the perfect focus.

So, Fortiche is just a very special place where people just… that’s their thing. They absolutely love this stuff. And we’re here in Paris where that kind of artistic angle and that pride in the craft was just a really integral aspect of what Arcane ended up looking like.

AL: It’s also cumulative, right? It’s as you get great artists, you invite great artists, and I think, so many of these teams at Fortiche wind up upping the bar for themselves and for the other people at each leg of the chain. I think one of the things that’s really special about getting to watch the production of the show is that at every single stage, it’s elevated in a way that it’s almost impossible to foresee.

And that’s because you have these teams that just really, I don’t know, they’re great at what they do and they really believe in it. And so, it’s a special project. It’s a really incredible group of people.

CL: And the minute you open the window, look out, look outside, glimpse Paris and put that in Piltover.

AY: Yes. Good to live in a beautiful place.

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