Deadpool – Before and After VFX

Much has been made of Deadpool’s success in relation to its “Hard R” rating, prophesying a  future replete with profanity-and-gore-spewing superheroes. But another lesson to be gleaned by the studios is that a $200 million production budget isn’t a prerequisite for its tights-adorned blockbusters. Despite being heavily visual effects driven, Deadpool cost only $58 million to make. To put that in perspective, since 2011 only two superhero films from major studios have cost less than $120 million – Lionsgate’s Kick-Ass sequel ($28 million) and Sony’s Ghost Rider sequel ($57 million). The average budget of Marvel Studios’ nine releases in that span is just short of $180 million, per Box Office Mojo.

Below is a look at how Deadpool pulled off its paltry-budgeted effects through a series of before-and-after VFX comparisons. The pictures in the gallery come from a pair of excellent interviews over at The Art of VFX – one with an artist from Digital Domain, which handled much of the work on Colossus, and one with an artist from Atomic Fiction, which handled the freeway chase/counting bullets set pieces. The Art of VFX is a must-read for those with a practical interest in the minutiae of modern CG effects. Fx Guide’s Deadpool feature is worth checking out as well. Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes: The films of David Fincher

“I don’t know how much movies should entertain. To me, I’m always interested in movies that scar. The thing I love about Jaws is the fact that I’ve never gone swimming in the ocean again.” – David Fincher in a 2010 interview with The Independent

With Gone Girl out on home video tomorrow, Deep Fried Movies takes a look back at the career of David Fincher via this gallery of set stills encompassing each of this 10 films as director. Continue Reading ›

The Shot Behind the Shot: Hollow Man (2000)

Hollow Man (Sony Pictures Imageworks fb)

Kevin Bacon and Gone Girl’s Kim Dickens on the set of Hollow Man (2000) in a Before/After visual effects comparison from the frontier days of green-suited CGI. The film earned more than $190 million at the worldwide box office, yet was RoboCop and Starship Troopers director Paul Verhoeven’s last big studio film.

Pics come from the Facebook page of Sony Pictures Imageworks, who created the Hollow Man effects.

The Special Effects of Gone Girl

(Above left) The set-up for a “Dry-for-Wet” shot from David Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014) depicting the imaginary watery grave of a sociopathic femme fatale (played by Rosamund Pike). (Above right) The final images from the film. The behind the scenes pic comes courtesy of the November issue of American Cinematographer magazine. Read the mag’s feature on the film here.

An early adopter of digital camera technology, director David Fincher continued to push the pixel boundaries by making Gone Girl (2014) the first major film to use the Epic Red Dragon as its main production camera. The Dragon sensor allowed Fincher to capture footage in 6K resolution. Though most audiences will experience the film in either a 4K or 2K version, that extra information gives additional leeway in post-production to create the type of invisible computer generated effects shown below. Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes, Throat Rip Edition: MacGruber (2010)

MacGruber (art of the title)

“Look, I’m not good with plans. And I’m not good with clues. What I am good with is kicking ass and ripping throats.” – MacGruber

I don’t remember how my family – parents, aunts, siblings, etc – ended up together at a screening of MacGruber when it opened back in May of 2010. But I do distinctly recall the collective awkwardness of watching Will Forte’s incompetent bomb disarmer engage in multiple graphic sex scenes with a ghost while seated alongside extended family members.

I recently came across an interview from the excellent site Art of the Title Sequence with director Jorma Taccone and main title designer Ryan McNeely discussing MacGruber’s opening and closing credits. Here’s a link to the interview, which is also the source for these before-and-after effects shots. Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 and 2014)

New Turtles (USA Today) copy

With nearly 25 years separating their releases, the 1990 film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and its 2014 Michael Bay-produced reboot provide a glimpse into the changing methods of visual effects.

The newest Turtles are computer generated, with the movements and facial expressions of actors in motion capture suits digitally translated into six-foot-tall pizza eating reptiles. The 1990 Turtles – created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop – required two people to operate them: an actor/stuntman inside a foam latex turtle suit and an effects technician to remotely control the animatronic head. To make the turtles’ mouths’ move, headgear with infrared sensors were used to sync the turtles’ gum-flapping with the operators’ mouth movements.

Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes: Sin City – A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Sin City_Page_1

If you missed Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For during its theatrical run – and judging by the film’s paltry box office take, you did – the belated sequel arrives on home video this week. Here’s a peak at the movie’s greenscreen-centric production. Continue Reading ›