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:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu8VppgpyVs
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.
[via Film School Rejects]