How They Made the Mad Max: Fury Road VFX

The VFX Oscar nom for Mad Max: Fury Road is a testament to the continuing power of George Miller’s post-apocalyptic storytelling, only more polished and immersive. It’s essentially one long desert chase in the War Rig, with 75 vehicles, captured mostly in camera, utilizing the invaluable Edge camera rig.

But VFX touched everything, from the spectacular stunts, to the Citadel extension and crowd work, to the CG Toxic Storm, to the removal of Charlize Theron’s arm, to the stylized look of the DI.

“When I first talked to George about the film, he was very clear about wanting the randomness of the real world to play out,” recalled Andrew Jackson (300), the production VFX supervisor based in Sydney, Australia. “That’s exactly what I like to do because my background is in special effects and model making. And my first thought is always how much of it can we shoot in live-action. So it was wonderful working with George right from the start because we’re both fans of that idea.”

Naturally, there was a lot of hand-held action shot inside the War Rig (courtesy of Oscar-nominated cinematographer John Seale). But the vehicle with the Edge crane was so effective that they used it for both static and moving shots.

It all comes together in the scene where Furiosa (Theron) bears down on a flame throwing VW, chased by gang members who have emerged from a burning fuel truck on the end of 20-foot pendulum poles attached to moving vehicles.

“One of my jobs on set was always to remind people to keep everything moving because as soon as the vehicle stops, everything dies,” Jackson explained. So it was important for the vehicle that the camera is mounted on to be rocked by the grips. And in post that was one of the big lessons. Whenever one of the vehicles and the cameras weren’t moving, they were some of the hardest visual effects shots to make convincing.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Movies, Oscar, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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