Friday, February 21, 2014

Recreating the World for Pacific Rim

I recently sat down to watch the 2013 film Pacific Rim. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, this movie follows the journey of small team of individuals as they attempt to stop Kaijus, colossal aliens, from terrorizing mankind. In order to combat these giant beasts, the humans built Jaegers, giant robots that are piloted by people. Although these robots are slowly being phased out by the government in favor of a protective wall around the Kaijus' portal, four a chosen to fend off the monsters until the wall is complete. Eventually, after some giant battles, the Jaegers use a bomb, blow up the portal, and save the day!

Although I thought plot of Pacific Rim was particularly strong for a science fiction movie, what really impressed me were the special effects. In my search to find out the techniques used for the film, I came across the above video. In particular, this video focuses on the special effects used in the climatic battle scene between a Kaijus and a Jaeger. Because these behemoths are the size of skyscrapers, the visual effects team had to recreate the entire world were this fight takes place, which is suppose to be Hong Kong. It was particularly eye-opening to hear of all the little details that had to be added to create a realistic scene, such as rain bouncing of the monsters and dust coming out from collapsed buildings. Although much of the battle sequence relies on computer-generated graphics, it was also interesting to see how the visual effects team used scaled down versions of buildings for several shots. Unfortunately, although I would like to see a sequel to Pacific Rim, that seems unlikely to happen given its financial disaster at the box office.

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