On March 17, Operation Fortune will have its premiere after nearly a year of post-production work by the 123-member team led by the Czech company MagicLab, which created all of the film’s visual effects and oversaw the creative and technical aspects of the British film production.

Photo: STXFilms/Daniel Smith


Collaboration on Guy Ritchie’s 4th film

Director Guy Ritchie has his go-to team. He co-wrote the screenplay for Operation Fortune together with Ivan Atkinson and Marne Davies, with Alan Stewart behind the camera and James Herbert editing –  the same line-up as the director’s previous films Wrath of Man (2021) and The Gentlemen (2020).

The Czech company MagicLab, which created visual effects for the director’s fourth film, is also one of Guy Ritchie’s regular collaborators. In addition to the aforementioned films, it also worked on the fairy tale Aladdin released by Walt Disney Pictures in 2019. 

Released this year, the British action comedy Operation Fortune follows Agent Orson as he tries to save the world from a digital attack on the world’s banks. Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) and his partner (Aubrey Plaza), disguised as an actress, use blackmail to recruit Hollywood celebrity Danny Franscesco (Josh Hartnett) to serve as bait for billionaire Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). Their goal is to thwart the sale and launch of dangerous technology.

Photo: STXFilms/Daniel Smith

Although the film was not shot in the Czech Republic, MagicLab created the complete visual effects for Miramax and Modelworld UK Productions. Kamila Ostra, in charge of new foreign VFX film and TV projects at MagicLab, and the company’s CEO Michal Krecek agree that about 50% of their projects are films shot abroad. In practice, visual effects are not always created in the country where the actual filming takes place.

Supervision of a large project

The work of the 123-strong team of 2D and 3D graphic designers, VFX producers, VFX production coordinators, and VFX supervisors took nearly a year.

MagicLab teamed up with friendly Czech post-production companies PFX, RUR and Dazzle Pictures. for this job. Magic Lab‘s VFX supervisor Jiri Linhart jumped into the project at the shooting stage in Turkey so that they would be in the loop right from the start.

Photo: STXFilms/Daniel Smith

In the next phase, when the post-production of the film started, the data from the footage was transferred to MagicLab’s studio, where the visual effects production began. The team first worked on creating 3D assets – put simply, the individual elements of a specific environment. Then came the matte paintings, and finally the completion of the shots to create the final visual effect.

Exceptional talent and technical skill of the team

“We managed and supervised all the visual effects for the entire project, meaning we oversaw all creative and technical aspects of the digital effects production. We successfully established a team with members from multiple Czech post-production companies. The project was massive – more than 900 shots,” says Michal Krecek, on the uniqueness of the collaboration on Operation Fortune.

Photo: STXFilms/Daniel Smith

Cooperation with renowned filmmakers

MagicLab has numerous successes to its credit. These include work on the visual effects of Beautiful Beings, directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, a co-production of Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, which premiered on 14 February at this year’s Berlinale.

It has also contributed to the German-Czech film Je Suis Karl, shot in the Czech Republic by Christian Schwochow in 2019, and the award-winning film The Charlatan by Polish director Agnieszka Holland, released in 2020.

Support for film students

In addition to working with renowned filmmakers, MagicLab also supports the work of emerging film professionals. CEO Michal Krecek is also a lecturer at FAMU. “We often co-produce student films in order to support the growth of young filmmakers – such as Kdyby radsi horelo (Somewhere Over the Chemtrails), which was selected for the Panorama section of this year’s Berlinale,” he says.

The work of the Czech post-production company MagicLab on the British film Operation Fortune, shot in Turkey, is a great example of international interconnectivity in the film industry, which is quite common now, and also highlights the success of Czech filmmakers who are invited to collaborate on projects shot abroad.

Photo: STXFilms/Daniel Smith

Operation Fortune is registered in the production incentive system. The total expected spend in the Czech Republic is CZK 32 million (USD 1.35 million / EUR 1.24 million). As of the date of publication of this article, the settlement has not yet taken place, so this is only a preliminary estimate.