Christopher Nolan promises Tenet has fewer visual effects than most RomComs

Christopher Nolan promises: “Tenet” has fewer visual effects than most RomComs

In an interview with the magazine of the international guild of cameramen, Christopher Nolan revealed how little was added to the computer afterwards in “Tenet”.

In ICG Magazine, a magazine especially for cameramen, there is a detailed interview about “Tenet” – u. a. with the responsible head cameraman Hoyte Van Hoytema, but also his assistant Keith B. David, editor Jennifer Lame and of course director Christopher Nolan.

It is mainly about the technical side, especially working with IMAX cameras. Scott Fisher, who is responsible for the special effects (the SFX, which are made directly on the set), and Andrew Jackson, who is responsible for the visual effects (the VFX, which are added later on the computer), also have their say – and once again shows himself there how little Christopher Nolan wants to have added to his films afterwards on the computer.

Despite “time travel” animations hardly any VFX

VFX creator Andrew Jackson explains that her biggest job in post-production computer editing was adding effects when someone was traveling back in time. But otherwise there isn’t much VFX in the film – or as Christopher Nolan says:

“The visual side of the film is huge, but our VFX shot count is probably lower than most romantic comedies.”

“The visual side of the film is huge, but our VFX shot count is probably lower than most romantic comedies.”

His editor Jennifer Lame even used a number during the conversation with ICG Magazin: There are probably fewer than 300 VFX shots, i.e. settings in which one or more elements in the picture come from the computer!

For a classification, the page The Playlist uses two of the biggest box office hits of the past few years: “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War” have 2,500 and 2,700 VFX shots respectively.

The comparison is not entirely appropriate, because the costumes of almost all heroes have individual elements that are only added later on the computer, which increases the number massively (and there are whole figures from the computer).

But let me tell you: 300 is an extremely low number these days – probably even lower than the VFX shot number for all Nolan films of the past 15 years (and they have always been on the low side).

300 is an extremely low number these days – probably even lower than the VFX shot number on all Nolan films over the past 15 years

Another comparison to illustrate how low the number is: The currently still youngest James Bond film “Specter” and the Stallone actioner “The Expendables 2” each have around 1,500 VFX shots.

But after all, we already know that Christopher Nolan even blew up a real airplane for the film instead of creating this effect on the computer. The scope of this scene is also discussed in detail, with the special effects artist in charge Scott Fisher saying that the plane was even prepared in such a way that it could have exploded a second time if Nolan had needed more material. The problem: There was nothing left of the building into which the Boeing 747 crashed in the film.

“Tenet” with John David Washington can be seen in German cinemas from August 26, 2020 LOSMOVIES. Advance sales will start on August 12, 2020. By the way, there is more about the film in the cinema this Thursday. From August 14, 2020, “Inception” (around 500 VFX shots, by the way) will be shown in a “10th Anniversary Version” in the cinema. The actual film is not changed, but there is extensive accompanying material – including what is probably the most detailed preview of “Tenet” so far.

“Tenet” with John David Washington can be seen in German cinemas from August 26, 2020.
Advance sales will start on August 12, 2020.
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