We are only a few days away from the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: The Official Movie Special Book from Marvel Studios, and Titan Comics unveils an exclusive extract from the collector’s edition. The Doctor Strange sequel opened up the multiverse to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with references to Incursions, the introductions of the Illuminati and America Chavez, and monsters like Gargantos. The cast and crew of Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness have tons of behind-the-scenes secrets to reveal, and ComicBook.com has the exclusive first look at words from Marvel Studios SFX Supervisor Chris Corbould and Visual Effects Producer Cyndi Ochs.
The exclusive extract from Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness features Chris Corbould discussing an opening scene with Stephen Strange, America Chavez, and Gargantos, which Corbould cited as one of the most challenging aspects to bring to life. Next, Cyndi Ochs dove into the importance of getting hands-on shots.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: The Official Movie Special Book goes on sale February 14 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Books-a-millionAnd Indiebound.
Chris Corbould: SFX Supervisor – Part 1
Production special effects supervisor Chris Corbould reflects on the challenges of bringing a reality-warping monster to life in his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut…
What was the biggest opportunity you had for the movie?
The biggest special effects shot we had in the movie was the Gargantos monster chasing America down a New York street. You had this eight- or ten-legged creature swinging in all directions, throwing cars, throwing things through shop windows, knocking over lampposts, knocking over traffic lights: you name it. It was a total massacre. My ambition was to do so much that no CGI could be put into it. It was fun and we all did it while America ran down the street. It looked quite spectacular.
How did you go about shooting the Gargantos range?
Well, going back to the backstory for a second, originally, pre-Covid, we were going to film a lot of this somewhere Marvel Studios had shot before, and they have a lot of freedom in the city. Obviously, when the lockdown happened and we couldn’t travel, our amazing production designer, Charlie Wood, built a New York street on the back lot. We had about four blocks on New York streets with all the set dressing — a lot of it bought in New York.
So that was the beginning. And then the monster evolved to do certain things. It ended up on the street chasing America, [with all the] ultimate damage that eight tentacles can deal when this giant monster throws things out of the way.
Much of the set is built to be rattled back, pushed over and hydraulically lowered. There were large debris drops on the street and probably had 30 or 40 different jokes in it, all with a different mechanical mechanism. The biggest problem we had was that we had to shoot the last scene of the demolition before we could actually film the demolition of it. So we had to dress up the set in its post-demolition condition and return everything to pristine condition.
Chris Corbould: SFX Supervisor – Part 2
That sounds like an insane continuity challenge…
It was pretty crazy, and it bit us a few times. We’ve slammed cars into buildings, and they didn’t land exactly in the right place, [but] in general we are good.
[Strange and America] go back to this New York Street in three different dimensions, where it looks different every time. The very first dimension we reached was the post-destruction look. And then it went to another dimension where [we had] a totally different look but not destroyed, and then a third dimension, where it had a totally different look again but not destroyed. So we pretty much did everything backwards on this movie.
Cyndi Ochs: Visual effects producer
Visual effects producer Cyndi Ochs discusses the challenges and triumphs of bringing Marvel Studios’ multidimensional adventure to the big screen.
Why is photographing practically important?
Reality-based images are something that is really important. We can create CG worlds from scratch, but the more we can ground them in reality, the more likely we are to sell the look of something. For example, we could film something on a green screen and not build a set in New York, but having that on the lower levels and having it expanded by us just gives us a base, because even the best looking CG stuff sees often still CG out.
What were the challenges with the New York monster rampage series to keep it feeling fresh?
It stared out with our pre-viz company, the third floor. We had some great supervisors there who were super creative, like 2D storyboard artists, but they were 3D storyboard artists and they came on board. We found out how many shots we wanted and they worked directly with Janek Sirrs, our visual effects supervisor, and showed it to Sam once every few weeks, to just transform the scene into the new best there is.
They were a bunch of cool visual effects geeks, flipping through their Marvel encyclopedias and looking up all the different magic spells they could possibly use. Everyone came up with their ideas, so it was this real collaboration of artists, supervisors and directors, in a global collaboration. And the best ideas won. The table was open with Sam where he would bring everyone’s idea to the table. If it was a good idea, it stuck.
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