Earlier this week, The Academy posted a video going behind the scenes of Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow. The clip discusses some of the incredibly impressive visual effects used in the film and others of its caliber. Below are a few other films featuring technologies that have changed the way we watch movies. They have altered the film industry as we know it with their mind bending visual effects.
Interstellar won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects this year, and with good reason. As this video describes, it was the first time a blackhole was accurately portrayed in film. Director Christopher Nolan and theoretical physicist/executive producer Kip Thorne worked together to create the effect, not knowing what would become of it. Ultimately, the combination of art and science led to the creation of something completely and truly original and taught both sides a little more about the mind boggling phenomenon of black holes.
2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Andy Serkis is an actor and director known for many things, but he is mostly known for his work in performance capture. Weta Digital, a visual effects company co-founded by Peter Jackson and others, has transformed Serkis into a myriad of non-human characters through out his career. In Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, his portrayal of Caesar is heartbreaking and at times you forget he isn’t an actual chimpanzee. Using some of the same techniques used in James Cameron’s Avatar, Serkis and other performance capture actors were transformed into hyperreal apes that were arguably more empathetic than their human counterparts.
3. The Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings trilogy continues to inspire and awe in both film and literary form. Using both in-camera and post effects, these films have transported us into the world of fantasy. This was the first instance of Weta Digital’s motion capture technology being used to transform Serkis, and maybe their most notable one. In this instance, it was the infamous Gollum.
Additionally, The Hobbit‘s use of increased frame rates turned it into a more realistic and immersive experience – making it the first film in Hollywood’s history to surpass the frame rate standard at 48 fps instead of the regular 24fps.
Gravity took home the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects back in 2014, in addition to taking home 6 other Oscars – one being for Best Achievement in Cinematography. One of this film’s more impressive feats is its combination of VFX and camera and lighting work. As described in this video, the crew pulled all the stops to make this film look as realistic as possible. Not to say that it doesn’t have it’s jarring inaccuracies…
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is yet another film on this list that has won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects. It’s reverse ageing process didn’t just rely on old age makeup, but super imposing Brad Pitt’s face onto that of the actor portraying him in his older, I mean younger, years. It made for a spectacular effect that put the viewer into the fantastical world of the piece.
What are some of your favorite examples of impressive visual effects in film? Let us know in the comments!