HBO Max has just released a mind-blowing Behind The Scenes look at the making of Gotham City in The Batman. Producers and cast explain the incredible visual effects that went on behind the camera that involved a blend of technology and practical effects.
Personally, I have a problem with the overuse of CGI and green screen which is one of the reasons I don’t care much for Marvel films, they look like cartoons. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good popcorn movie but I feel that sometimes CGI is used as a bragging tool for CGI nerds to show one another how good they are.
Marvel’s use of CGI is unnecessary at times. I remember once seeing a clip from Spider-Man: Far From Home where they had used CGI to have Nick Fury holding a tranquilizer gun. Just give the man a prop for crying out loud – no one mention Alec Baldwin – OK, bad example!
CGI Done Right
Obviously when in the right hands, CGI is a Godsend and the best use of it is when you don’t know it’s actually been used.
For me, there are three directors in particular who I think have mastered its use – David Fincher, Denis Villeneuve, and Matt Reeves. Reeves’ use of CGI for his Planet Of Apes films was astonishing and this Behind The Scenes featurette shows how he’s taken that discipline and used it on The Batman to full effect.
You can see how the team used a massive, 360-degree LED panel known as The Volume, with vivid and real-life images (just like Disney+ do with The Mandalorian). This gives them complete control over lighting, time, weather and even scale.
It also enables the actors to interact with and react to each scene without having to rely on their imaginations and the mercy of a nerd and his/her PC. In particular the way they shot the car chase between the Penguin and Batman just looks incredible.
Director of photography Greig Fraser calls the new technology a “game-changer” and says it will be impossible for the industry to go back to traditional blue or green screens.
Whether you enjoyed The Batman or not, this four minute video is a real treat for movie fans. Check it out and let me know in the comments how much more you appreciate this film now you’ve seen Doctor Strange 2.