One expects to see the results of movie magic when they're watching a science fiction blockbuster. However, it turns out that you can't believe your eyes even when you're watching a nice period drama either. It turns out that a great deal of Robert Zemeckis' recent film Allied was shot in front of green screens and we had no idea. Check it out in this exclusive clip.
The clip comes from one of the special features attached to the film's home release. In it, we discover that even in a simple drama you can't trust anything you see in movies. Everything from the environment outside a car window to a series of buildings across a street were actually done completely digitally rather than by set designers. So many parts of the movie that certainly looked to be filmed on location were actually done inside a studio.
When you think about it, it does make some sense. Allied takes place during World War II and so the movie needs to create a setting for its story which no longer exists. Procuring or manufacturing cars or planes that look like 1940s models is one thing. Designing an entire street with the appropriate architecture is something else entirely. It's certainly easier to draw all that in digitally. Unless the characters actually need to interact with something, adding it via a computer is certainly the easier option it would seem. Though we're not sure it's the cheaper option.
This allows the majority of a film to be shot on a sound stage, which is certainly cheaper than moving to the numerous locations you would need. It also saves time filming as set construction has to be done while shooting when the digital effects can all be done after the fact. Since direct interaction with the actors isn't required this allows the digital effects to simply fade into the background, making them essentially invisible.
To a certain extent, we know that the reason this particular movie relied so heavily on digital effects is because it was directed by Robert Zemeckis. He's a man who has frequently been seduced by technology. His previous The Walk was specifically designed to be an IMAX 3D spectacle film. Prior to that, he made three consecutive animated films that he tried to make look more and more life like.
Perhaps the actors in Allied should be given more credit. When a movie creates a world around you, it can be easier to perform in that world, but if all you're acting against is a screen, that certainly takes more work.
Allied makes its home entertainment debut on Digital HD today, February 14. It will follow up on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on February 28, from Paramount Home Media Distribution.
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