The Oscar 2020 nominations for best visual effects had the strongest contenders. While the prospects of Disney looked great with three movies, the others had more or less if not equal the chances for a win.
This Oscar winner proves that visual effects are not just some replacements done to a green screen through digital machinery. It necessarily involves production design and a creative approach for achieving effects which is not possible without the use of heavy editing. The way this movie incorporated VFX into it is absolutely genius. The movie had to be framed in such a way that entirety shot is to be captured in one single shot. In this movie, the camera never cuts away from the action. The task of integrating multiple shots together seamlessly was an incredibly challenging task for the VFX team. Depending on the type of shot, different approaches were used to achieve the desired results. The fact that the movie was produced in native IMAX (widescreen with incredibly high-resolution) format made it even more complicated. The digital painting work of the VFX artists had to be precise and intricate.
Apart from 1917, Birdman too was shot using this one-continuous shot technique and was nominated for an Oscar in the same category.
In a nutshell, VFX is more effective when it goes unnoticeable.
It is masterpiece from Martin Scorsese and a big budget ambition project due to the cast and the de-aging used in it. Now, it is a familiar technique (seen in Iron man 3, Ant Man, and Terminator: Dark Fate earlier). In The Irishman it was used in the flashback scenes where De Niro is required to look like his 40s. The present age of De Niro is 76. If you haven’t watched it already it is available on Netflix.
Being the most anticipated movie of 2019, VFX artists had no room for error. The final fight sequence against the army of Thanos made a memorable impact on the viewers. However, Marvel was condemned by critics for using too much CGI. The Marvel team mentioned that the nearing deadlines left less time for production design to develop full-fledged sets, and they had to rely on VFX.
The Lion King
Imagine the CGI being so good that it actually becomes a shortcoming of the movie. That’s exactly what happened with The Lion King. In the original animated counterpart, the characters portrayed their personalities through expressions and quirks while the live action seemed flat due to the hyper-realistic animation. Still kudos to the Disney artists for they have almost blurred the lines between reality and CGI with the movies like The Jungle Book and The Lion King. VFX isn’t an easy task and to mimic the movements and natures of animals is nothing less than a revolutionary feat.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Layers of work went into The Rise of Skywalker. Some of the most striking VFX moments from the film include the assembly of Leia’s farewell from deleted scenes shot by Carrie Fisher years before her death, the blending of old-school models and digital effects, and flashback scene of Luke and Leia training created with the elements from the Return of the Jedi.
Do you think 1917 deserves the Oscar win? Or do you have another personal favourite? Let us know in the comments.
If you wish to be more than just a spectator of amazing visual effects, join a VFX course and get the skills to create your own VFX.
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