There's almost nothing more fun than seeing a disaster movie on the big screen. They provide some epic scope and scale while they tear the world into pieces. Movies like The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and even San Andreas all take some joy in smashing iconic landmarks, disappearing people into the earth, and changing society as we know it.
So much work goes into disaster movies. You have to mix practical scenes with tons of extras and green screens. You have to build VFX, shoot multiple angles, and coordinate hundreds if not thousands of people at once just to pull off one shot.
Just take it from Steven Spielberg, it's a lot!
None of that even mentions the writing and worldbuilding, which can take years to accomplish.
Disaster moves are something to marvel at. And that's why I am so excited to see this behind-the-scenes look at disaster movies from Insider. Check out their video with specifics from Noah, Mad Max, and many other titles, and then let's talk after the jump.
When it comes to the disaster genre, this video really showcased the sheer size of the spectacles.
There's also some futility. You need special effects teams building entire cities or worlds, only to level them. This episode of "Movies Insider" breaks down the diverse techniques used to create extreme weather phenomena on the big screen, from miniature effects to shaky deck sets to a massive light and rain rig.
What I think blew me away the most is how much is actually done practically for these blockbuster films. Sure, the creatures in Noah are fake, but having real waves and a real ark deck was not something I expected.
Of course, something like San Andreas had to use CG to sculpt a deep fissure in the earth. But they still built platforms and wreckage on a soundstage to show people jumping and to drop foam rocks on them.
The Impossible did an amazing job creating the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami with real water. They filmed Naomi Watts' and Tom Holland's scenes in Europe's largest water tank. It reminded me of the behind-the-scenes we showed on Master and Commander, where they used real ships in tanks located on the ocean.
When it comes to Mad Max: Fury Road, I have always been astounded by the sandstorm. It was a mix of CG and practical, with lots of digital mapping and small effects added to make colors pop and things look real. They shot on location in the desert to give a more naturalistic vision.
Paul W. S. Anderson's Pompeii could not shoot on location, so they had to recreate a city for them to destroy. They were able to use three kinds of disasters to topple their city; a volcanic eruption, an earthquake, and a tsunami.
All together, these amazing feats by crews really capture the magic of Hollywood and how far technology has come today.
What's your favorite disaster film? Tell us in the comments.