'On your left' kicks off Marvel's biggest action scene ever. Here's how they did it.
Avengers: Endgame broke box office records and made comic book fans' dream come true with much of its epic running time. But it was that final battle, with Giant Man punching Thanos' space eels out of the sky as EVERY AVENGER EVER (and Howard the Duck!) brought the Mad Titan's forces to their knees and theater patrons to their feet with applause.
With Marvel Studios having recently released Endgame on digital home entertainment (it arrives on Blu-ray and 4K Tuesday, Aug. 13), SlashFilm interviewed Weta Digital’s visual effects supervisor Matt Aitken to provide an unofficial audio commentary over the battle and its behind-the-scenes footage. Aitken goes in-depth on how and when the production executed the effects-filled climax to the Infinity Saga. Watch below:
The use of green screen with practical actors, on top of characters and environments created entirely out of CG, isn't exactly new or mindblowing. But attention must be paid to the scale the tech was applied to; and how the large ensemble of both both physical and digital actors were (pun not intended...ish) assembled to bring this complicated set piece to life.
Blockbusters are overwhelmingly reliant on CG; audiences have gone numb to it to a degree, but still show up at the box office for the spectacle. Marvel is as much to blame for this as any other Hollywood studio. At the same time, Marvel knows how to weave this eye candy through character-driven action and story. That makes their brand of CG everything more endearing, and enduring (for the most part), than their counterparts. It's an impressive feat, the kind of scene that earns "all-timer" status.
What storytelling and post-production lessons can we learn from watching this footage? How did Endgame change how you approach your projects? Let us know in the comments below!