Behind the Scenes: The special effects of Ender’s Game (2013)

Ender's Game Photo

Despite a budget north of $100 million and a best-selling novel as its source material, Ender’s Game is essentially an independently produced movie. A large portion of the financing came from pre-sales to foreign territories and a surprising chunk was kicked in by Digital Domain, the effects house responsible for work on Titanic, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Iron Man 3. Digital Domain filed for bankruptcy last year and as part of its new business plan the effects outfit invested its own money in Ender’s Game in return for a percentage of the profits.

Continue reading below for a collection of behind the scenes photos detailing the creation of Ender’s Game’s effects sequences. 

This set of images come courtesy of a Time Magazine gallery. The first two pairs of photos are from Ender’s Game’s Battle Room sequences. The effects were achieved partially with harnesses and wire work, but to accurately simulate a zero gravity environment there were shots in which the actor’s entire body – other than the performer’s face – was replaced digitally in post.

Ender's Game (#28)
Ender's Game #2 (#28)

Ender's Game #3 (#28) Ender's Game #4 (#28)
Ender's Game #5 (#28) Ender's Game #6 (#28)

This set of screen captures comes from a making-of video put together by Wired magazine.Ender #2

Ender #3 Ender #4 Ender #5 Ender's Game Wires

A screen grab from a New York Times article which breaks down the effects shots composited to construct a single image. Check out the original story here.Ender's Game (New York Times)

If that still isn’t enough Ender’s Game for you, here’s a few more links to visit.

*An extensive and extremely detailed interview from Flickering Myth with director Gavin Hood and visual effects supervisor Matthew Butler.

*A history of Ender’s Game’s decades-long trip to the screen from Grantland.

*An L.A. Times feature about Digital Domain’s financial investment in the film.

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