These days, it is easy for filmmakers to just shoot a scene with a green screen and then touch up the movie later with visual effects to make it look just right. As good as visual effects are these days, there is no way that digital explosions or effects can ever truly mimic the real thing. Most of us probably don’t care too much as we simply want to be entertained, but there is no doubt that practical effects just provide a more immersive and intense experience, even if it’s at a subconscious level sometimes.
This is why a filmmaker like Christopher Nolan tries to avoid the use of CGI as much as possible and prefers to try and use traditional practical effects to capture a bold visual spectacle on film.
Like actually blowing up a real plane.
It’s one of the reasons why his movie action sequences just feel so much more authentic than many of his peers. It’s also a problem when you keep coming up with bold movie ideas with weird world and time-bending action sequences that are practically written for CGI but are still intended to be shot practically.
So how exactly do they pull off visually trickery like this without resorting to heavy CGI effects? This new behind the scenes footage of the upcoming Tenet provides some examples of how this ambitious film was made:
This documentary showcases not only some of the details of how Nolan and his crew pulled off some of the visual trickery of time flowing in reverse, but also highlights the global nature of the film shoots and how it easily makes this the biggest movie that the director has ever made. Not only was Nolan not prepared to sacrifice on his effects, but he didn’t want to rebuild the backgrounds of famous cities in CGI either, preferring instead to fly the cast and crew around to different locations to ensure that they could be shot realistically.
So, do all these practical effects make the film that much better? Well, we don’t know yet and will probably only find out when we eventually make it to the cinema. Perhaps what all this does tell you is exactly how expensive this movie was to make and why it is risky to release it during a pandemic like this. Warner Bros believes that if any filmmaker can drag people back into theatres, it’s Nolan and this movie. Tenet is releasing tomorrow in select theatres around the world.
Last Updated: August 27, 2020