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November 24, 2012

Behind the Scenes of the Football Field Explosion in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

It's possible that you may not have seen The Dark Knight Rises, but since most of the world saw it, I won't feel too bad about spoiling this little bit of the film (especially since it was also in the trailer): Bane blows up a football field. Obviously destroying a football stadium would be out of the question (though they did implode a real hospital in the second film, The Dark Knight), so the final shot could only be completed with some CGI. Christopher Nolan always prefers to do as much in-camera as possible, and this scene was really no different, as it blended both practical effects and CGI together. Here's visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin as he explains how they accomplished one of the bigger effects in the franchise's history:

Here's part of the scene as was cut from the trailer of the film:

They filmed at Heinz Field where the Pittsburgh Steelers play, so it was clear they weren't doing anything too drastic to the actual stadium itself (though if there was a football stadium being demolished at the time of filming, I'm sure Mr. Nolan would have tried his best to capture some of that).

Each time I saw the scene in the trailer and then in the final film, there was always something incredibly real about the way the explosion looked, and that's probably because much of it was real. The worst special effects in my opinion are those that have a hard time blending in with reality. If most of your scene is starting from a real place, there's a good chance you'll have a much easier time making the CGI as seamless as possible.

This behind the scenes will be released as part of the Blu-Ray/DVD which will be available beginning early next month.

Link: The Dark Knight Rises Blu-Ray -- Amazon

[via Film School Rejects]

Your Comment

18 Comments

November 24, 2012

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Viv

Still looks fake to me...

November 24, 2012

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Joe

Interesting. But the only part of the movie I didn't care for. Felt like something Michael Bay would pull.

November 24, 2012

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vinceGortho

I wasn't really impressed with it to be honest. It's a cool conceptual idea, but the digital foreground smoke and the shoddy computer effects kinda took me out of it.

November 24, 2012

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von

^^This guy!

November 27, 2012

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David

I love the movie, but have to agree that I didn't find this scene very convincing.
Quite funny if you look at it again and realise that the football player stops running before all the explosions are done, starts jogging and finally turns around to look at the devastation as if he already knows that it will only blow to the end of the field :)

November 24, 2012

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i don't think he was supposed to know the field was imploding. He was running toward the end zone...to score a touchdown

November 25, 2012

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I felt the smoke, dust to be a very "3d", there are scenes of this film that are way better than this one IMO.

November 24, 2012

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Martin

I have to agree I wasn't super impressed, but I am impressed at the same time if you will..

November 24, 2012

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Jeff Akwante

This part of the movie to me looked bad, it's actually more impressive to watch the how-to than the actual render. I feel that it was just a scene to pump up the movie, because it needed to be bigger than the previous ones, and it actually didn't add much to the film. But the whole movie was like that to me.

November 24, 2012

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maghoxfr

Not trolling, asking an honest question: What did people like about this movie?
I came away frustrated by the story, which seemed to have huge plot holes, and the pacing which felt very inconsistent. I've seen a lot of love and I am just curious what worked for people.

November 24, 2012

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Mitchard

I liked it because it finished the story. I'm not going to lie, the bomb scare is a bit of a letdown after the spastic actions of the Joker in TDK, but it's mainly the story that people liked about it so much.

November 24, 2012

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Tyler

I felt the same way. Quite disappointed with the film. I think part of the problem is the trailer editors have become so good - they make you think you're going to see something extraordinary... then it isn't.

November 24, 2012

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Stu Mannion

I think a lot of the people here who "aren't convinced" or "aren't impressed" most likely feel that way because we've got a far more critical eye than the general public. The worst part about studying the craft is when you can't switch off and let yourself become immersed in a film.

November 24, 2012

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Ben Howling

I thought it look really good and I'm a really critical person. I bet the general public would think it look good.

November 29, 2012

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Victor Nguyen

It's annoying watching a film and knowing that light is coming from a reflector because it doesn't come from the ground *hint war horse hint*

November 30, 2012

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Tyler

I disagree. You may have to be some kind of a filmmaker to be able to articulate how annoying and filmic Micheal Mann's greater than 180 degree shutter is...but any 15 year old can understand how different a cg film looks from a real one. Nolan's films have a distinctly different and more realistic look than Thor, Green Lantern, Hulk (any version), Avengers and all the other DC/Marvel movies. It's clear looking at this scene why Nolan doesn't like CG effects...cuz it looks fake!

I'm really glad I'm seeing other people tearing it apart here...I thought I was the only one. It bugged me from the first time I saw it on the trailer and it hasn't gotten any better seeing it within the context of the film.

This was as bad as when the bat-bike climbed the wall in a wheelie and then spun around. Also, the bat mobile jumping around the rooftops in the first one sucked...but these small things were isolated things, only 2 or 3 little things that sucked in each movie...vs a whole movie full of it like the way overhyped Avengers and the other cg movies where you often have almost whole scenes with purely digital stuff going on and there is nothing real there.

December 3, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

Tough crowd!

November 25, 2012

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Will