When visual effects are done right, they not only submerse you in fantasy, but leave you wondering how the hell they did that…
Well we’re going to tell you how!
1. Children of Men
An extremely engaging in-car one-take has the camera magically traverse through the vehicle while its occupants are pursued by a mob of badguys. In order to pull this long take off they had to invent a camera car that had a moving camera and moving seats and doors
2. Captain America: The First Avenger
Steve Rogers first appears in the movie as a skinny and somewhat wimpy army recruit. Insanely skinnier than actor Chris Evans.
Taking a 220lb Evans down to 140lbs involved several techniques, including the use of a suitably sized double who stood-in for some shots. However, Evans’ head was always the real “Skinny Steve” head, at times a scaled down version of the on-set photography or by using digital face-mapping techniques.
3. Saving Private Ryan
The half-hour Beach scene is regarded by many as the most realistic recreation of the war ever seen on film. But recreating the D-day assault on Omaha Beach meant outfitting an army of 1500 extras, including 1000 Irish soldiers, and countless hours of preparation. Entire days were spent to make single shots possible, with Spielberg using the action, not storyboards to picks his angles on set.
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
IMF agent Ethan Hunt to climbs the Burj Khalifa, runs and swings alongside the hotel’s glass exterior – with Tom Cruise performing the stunt himself.
The crew built a replica section of the building to prepare special rigs, harnesses and equipment ahead of time, before filming on the real building. They also built a rig that would allow the director and camera man to lie facing out from the building. The studio even had to change insurance companies to make it possible.
5. 28 Days Later
Jim a bicycle courier, wanders the empty streets of London after having awoken from a deep coma. But it wasn’t at all easy making the usually bustling streets of London, deserted. Police would close the roads at 4am, and filming, with quick to mount Canon XL-1 digital cameras would begin immediately. After 1 hour, the police would reopen the roads. The producers also got several attractive young women (including director Danny Boyle’s daughter) to convince clubbers and drivers to wait an hour, or find an alternative route.
6. Kill Bill: Vol 1
Quentin Tarantino pulled off an especially ambitious Long Take with this Crazy 88 fight scene. The camera flying around, under, over and through the set.
There were over six hours of rehearsals before cameras could roll for this two minute scene and after take 17 the veteran Steadicam operator even collapsed from exhaustion.
7. Apocalypse Now
Looking to make the Vietnamese landscape as real as possible, director Francis Ford Coppola shot the movie in the Philippines. Filming was supposed to take five months and ended up taking over a year. Typhoon Olga destroyed the set and ruined one month’s worth of shooting. Martin Sheen also suffered a heart attack.
Know of any other movies that were technically challenging?