If you watched "Creed", or just watched the trailer of "Creed", then you must be impressed with the scene of the Boeing 747 crashing into a building and exploding.
The ultimate picture quality will make you feel "all this is too real." And this scene also made Nolan board the hot search again, because the plane that was bombed badly was real.
▲ Intercepted from the trailer of "Creed"
In fact, Nolan originally planned to shoot this scene with a miniature model and a set, and then supplement it with visual effects. But this seems not enough "Nolan", he really wants to make this film more dramatic.
It happened that while inspecting the filming location in Victorville, California, the crew found a large number of old planes. After careful calculations, I found that "buying a real airplane of actual size for shooting is more efficient than shooting a model or using CG special effects."
In the BBC interview, Nolan also happily admitted that he "impulsive consumption". However, in order to "be diligent and thrifty," the aircraft engine was removed and sold. This saved a lot of costs. "After all, airplane engines are still very expensive."
▲ Nolan is being interviewed by the BBC
Even with "careful calculations", Nolan still spent $205 million to shoot the film "Creed". The cost is second only to the $250 million in "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises".
Not real shot, not Nolan
Nolan did nothing less than a god-like operation like "buy a plane and blow it up." It's commonplace for senior movie fans.
In his last film "Dunkirk", all the flying scenes are real shots. The MK1 fighters that appeared in the movie were borrowed from a rich man, and two were worth 10 million U.S. dollars. The scenes of the plane crashing into the sea and the burning scenes are real.
▲The burning fighter in Dunkirk
After the fighter jet fell into the sea, in order to show how Jack Lawdon (playing as Collins in the film) tried his best to escape the cabin, Nolan strapped an IMAX camera worth more than $500,000 to the fighter jet. But the speed of the plane crash was too fast, which caused the camera's protective measures to fail, and the entire camera was soaked in water.
Fortunately, the film in the machine was "rescued in time", and the precious images in it were rescued, otherwise Nolan would have to bear the cost of this part of the film and the re-shooting.
▲ Nolan: Still have to work hard to keep smiling
When performing naval battle scenes, Nolan decided to use real naval destroyers instead of using computer three-dimensional animation technology (CGI) to build.
In order to save costs, the "ghost" he cuts out soldiers and military vehicles from cardboard. Placed in the far background of the lens to create the effect of a large army. Even with a bit of "little cleverness", 62 ships appeared on the scene during the shooting.
▲ Intercepted from the trailer of "Dunkirk"
In order to reproduce the scene of the retreat of 333,000 Allied troops, Nolan called 1,500 extras, called a crane and a Spitfire, and took the picture to his satisfaction.
▲Intercepted from the trailer of "Dunkirk"
In the process of filming "Interstellar", in order to reflect the plot setting that "the least suitable place for growing corn on earth has already grown corn", Nuolan spent half a year in Alberta, Canada. 3,000 acres of corn.
The climate of Alberta in Canada is very changeable, with the lowest temperature in winter reaching minus 50 degrees, and hail weather often occurs in summer. Nolan needs to pay special attention to weather conditions to grow good-growing corn.
However, the title of "Nuoshen" is not in vain. Under the careful cultivation of him and his team, 3000 acres of corn fields are growing very well, so there is a corn field in "Interstellar Crossing" that is invisible at a glance.
▲Intercepted from the trailer of "Interstellar"
And Nolan, a farmer who was delayed in filming, also made a fortune from selling corn, and he cannot be called a "business ghost."
▲Nolan once excitedly recalled the corn harvest
For the spaceships that appeared in the movie, Nolan did not choose to use computer special effects for processing, but used almost one-to-one large models to shoot. Each spacecraft weighs 10,000 pounds. After being disassembled, it is transported by a cargo plane to the shooting location and then reassembled. It sounds troublesome, but Nolan doesn't like tossing, but enjoys it.
If you have watched "Inception", then you must have an impression of this shocking scene: Leonardo's Dom Cobb was pushed into the bathtub and triggered the first dream crossing. Cobb's feelings about water in the upper world are transferred to the dreams of the lower layer, producing a surreal effect: the entire Japanese palace is submerged by torrential water.
▲Intercepted from the trailer of Inception
And this is not computer special effects synthesis. Nolan asked the special effects team to build a huge Japanese palace, and arranged 26 large water tanks in the palace, about 19 tons of water gushing out, there is a picture of "water overflowing golden mountains".
Another example is the avalanche scene of the fifth dream in the movie. Nolan also went to Canada to shoot. In a snow mountain chase, even though the actor Tom Hardy can't ski, Nolan "tied" him to a snowmobile and let him drive down the mountain at high speed.
▲Tom’s inner possibility: breath, shaking, cold
If you have watched enough of Nolan's works, you will find that in his movies, there are almost out of ten big scenes of building explosions, and he basically chooses real shots for these scenes.
For example, in "Batman: The Dark Knight", the scene where the Joker blows up the hospital, the hospital that was blown up is real. (There is a saying that Nuolan bought a disused building for US$5 million).
Nolan once said that if he doesn't make movies, his ideal career is an architect. Some netizens teased that Nolan might be thinking, "If I can't get it, I will blow it up."
Regarding Nolan's dedication to real-time shooting, there are numerous relevant cases. If Nolan is asked to shoot "Game of Thrones," maybe he can find three dragons.
In addition to being obsessed with real shots, Nolan has also liked to use 65mm IMAX film cameras to shoot movies in recent years. (70mm film is used for screening) Even though the digital camera is so mature, Nolan still pursues the invincible quality of film.
But the price is "burning money." In "Creed", Nolan's crew used about 480,000 meters of IMAX film to complete most of the scenes. On average, a tire-sized film was used every three minutes.
▲ IMAX film picture from: Kevin McCarthy
The cost of film is also reflected in all aspects. If according to the copy cost of 70mm IMAX film, a 1.7-meter-per-second frame, and the copy cost of a 5-minute lens, Nolan would spend 12,500 yuan.
These "crazy" actions by Nolan have resulted in a realistic texture and ultimate movie-watching experience, which is also one of Nolan's shiny labels. Of course, these legendary behind-the-scenes stories also give the film the most vivid promotional selling point, and Nolan can't help but know this.
Those Nolan-style "sao operations"
Looking around the film world, Nolan's "sao operation" is not uncommon.
Nolan once publicly stated in an interview that he admires Zhang Yimou, and Zhang Yimou has done something very "Nolan". That is, during the filming of "Red Sorghum", red sorghum was planted in nearly 100 acres of cropland.
▲The sorghum field in "Red Sorghum"
However, Zhang Yimou did not go as smoothly as Nolan, and the red sorghum he planted almost died. It is said that Zhang Yimou sent a telegram to Mo Yan for help. Mo Yan helped find the county party committee leader and approved 5 tons of chemical fertilizer to bring this sorghum field back to life.
Later, when Wang Quanan directed "White Deer Plain", he also learned from Zhang Yimou's planting experience and intensively cultivated 300 acres of wheat fields under the Qinling Mountains. This may be the largest planting act in the history of Chinese film.
▲The wheat field in "White Deer Plain"
In addition to building fields, directors can also "build cities."
When Chen Kaige was filming "The Legend of the Demon Cat", he went everywhere and failed to find the scenery. In order to reproduce the magnificent atmosphere of the prosperous Tang Dynasty, he spent 1.6 billion to build a "Tang City" in Xiangyang.
According to Jiemian News, Chen Kaige's art team has been stationed in Xiangyang for 6 years, responsible for the art and construction details of Tangcheng. The entire design is based on the old Tangcheng ruins in Xi'an, basically following the original layout, but on a smaller scale.
▲The pomp of the Tang Dynasty in The Legend of the Demon Cat
According to relevant staff, the Tang City "all use real materials, and more than 60% are wooden structures. Stones, bricks, and buckets are all purchased from the best local organizations in the country." It can be said that Chen Kaige puts his heart into this film.
Another example is that when Peter Jackson was filming the "Lord of the Rings" film series, he used satellite maps to search the world for the Hobbit Village that fits the description in the script, and finally determined that it was a wool farm in Matamata, New Zealand. farm.
In the next 9 months, the crew built 37 Hobbit caves here, built 1.5 kilometers of roads, and finally created a dreamy "Hobbiton" (Hobbiton).
▲Hobbiton has now become a tourist attraction. Picture from: greatsights
To talk about "Sao Operation", Jiang Wen must also have a name. When he was filming "The Sun Also Rises", "Hundreds of birds and beasts were used, dozens of boxes of ammunition were consumed, hundreds of tents were burned out, and more than 300 cubic meters of Tibetan houses and dozens of tons were destroyed. The pebbles and red clay were transported thousands of miles away to the location, and dozens of trucks were mobilized to carry an iron-clad boat from the lower reaches of the Jinsha River to the plateau lake; in order to create the effect of strong winds, they even invited air force planes in the valley. Flying at very low altitude." Miaowang recorded this.
In the later "Evil Do Not Suppress Righteousness", Jiang Wen built another 40,000 square meter roof to restore the appearance of the old Peking. In the film, the protagonist is constantly running and searching on the roof, not only witnessing the change of the times, but also completing his own growth.
▲Intercepted from the trailer of "Evil does not suppress the right"
There are many more interesting behind-the-scenes stories such as those mentioned above. And these directors' dedication to real-life shooting and the ultimate pursuit of the picture have become the best topics when the movie is warming up.
There are even directors who take the initiative to promote live shooting. For example, when "007: Ghost Party" was announced, it was emphasized that the explosion scenes in the movie were really explosive to gain more attention.
Studio shot? Still real shot?
Like Nolan's "sao operation", we always find it interesting or think the director is very careful. But is real shooting necessarily better than studio shooting? Does studio photography symbolize shoddy work?
The answer is obviously no.
When Cameron was shooting "Avatar", most of the scenes were shot in the studio. But this does not affect the exquisiteness and shock of the film, provided that enough late-stage budget is invested.
▲ Screenshot of the movie "Avatar"
In front of the green screen, it can also prove the actors' acting skills, as well as the director's later choreography and imagination ability. In addition, the shooting time and conditions in the studio can be controlled, making shooting more efficient.
From this perspective, the shortcomings of real-time shooting are more obvious. After all, nature is uncontrollable, and many scenery can only be relied upon.
For example, when Hou Xiaoxian was filming "The Assassin Nie Yinniang" in Wudang Mountain, he could wait a few days for a single shot, just to take a picture of a cloud on the horizon. The whole shooting is summed up in Hsu Chi's words, "Wait for the wind, wait for the cloud, and wait for the bird to fly away."
▲ Screenshot of the movie "Assassin Nie Yinniang"
And it’s not that the director is waiting alone. The entire crew including actors, staff, and expensive equipment are waiting, all of which will increase the cost of the movie.
In the eyes of most directors, whether live shooting or studio shooting is a matter of effect and business.
A lot of close-up shots with physical props are definitely worthwhile in terms of cost and effect. However, if you want to show large scenes with complex perspectives, CG special effects are more efficient and cheaper.
But for film artists, real-time shooting and studio shooting are not entirely determined by money.
The cat's eye movie has been accounted for. Nolan used more than 6,000 group actors to film "Dunkirk." According to the 2015 price standard, the price of extra actors in the Hollywood Screen Actors Guild is $20/hour. Calculated based on the 8 hours of work per person per day, that is, 960,000 US dollars without box lunch.
▲Intercepted from the trailer of "Dunkirk"
This scene, if completed with special effects, may be more economical. But for Nolan, the green screen may be too boring.
▲ Picture from: @光影莫里斯
For the "007" series of films, part of the reason why they can become a classic in the film industry is also because of the dramatic tension and related labels brought by live shooting.
From another perspective, live shooting is also a manifestation of "craftsman spirit." After all, not every director can be like Hou Xiaoxian, who can wait several days for a perfect shot.
Today, when the barriers to directors are lowered and "thundering film and television dramas" are frequently appearing, "real-time shooting" seems to have gradually become a synonym for "quality. After all, when we talk about "green screen," we think of negative words such as "three cents special effects" and "cutting pictures to change faces". Because we see more and more "junk works".
In the impetuous film and television circles, these shoddy works have stigmatized "studio shooting" to a certain extent, and they have also made the "real scene shooting" more valuable.
▲ The dinosaur in a movie with "three cents special effects"
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