… for Visual Effects
Tip #1460: A Look Inside “Tenet’s” Effects
In-camera effects are not the norm, but Christopher Nolan prefers them.
This article, written by Kevin H. Martin, first appeared in VFXVoice.com. This is a summary.
“Even after reading the script four times, I was still working out the complexities of it,” Tenet Visual Effects Supervisor Andrew Jackson admits. “Tenet was a case of just when you think you’ve gotten things clear in your mind, then you catch yourself and realize, ‘Oh no!’ And so you’ve got to think a bit harder.”
Writer/Producer/Director Christopher Nolan’s return to technothriller territory a la Inception boasts James Bond-sized full-scale set pieces while not stinting on effects magic – though with the focus primarily on in-camera work. Editor Jennifer Lame estimates only 300 VFX shots in the whole picture, while director Nolan says the level of VFX – created at DNEG, which has worked on Nolan’s films since Batman Begins in 2005 – is less than what would be found in most romantic comedies.
Visual Effects Producer Mike Chambers began working with Nolan on Inception. “He’s very tech-savvy with all aspects of production, and sees VFX as just one tool in the toolbox. He has always been happy with DNEG and likes the idea of avoiding multiple vendors unless something unusual comes up. Organizing early on for a Nolan project starts with knowing the ideal is to get as much in-camera as possible, but then to plan alternate routes that can get us to where we need if in-camera approach doesn’t get us all the way.”
“When you break down a script for a Chris Nolan movie, it’s a different process than when you work on any other film,” he continues. “There are aspects that for anybody else, the default solution today would be to go CG, but that’s not necessarily the case with Chris – almost the opposite is true, which I find refreshing and exciting and really gives me and everyone in my crew a sense of challenge. In this day and age, there is so much effects being done as VFX is the go-to mindset, I couldn’t be in a better spot with a more willing boss than Chris when it comes to practicing my craft properly, getting the time to do all these tests and get things right for the camera.”
The article includes much more detail, as well as production stills and links.