It seems that thanks to the success of CGI digital effects there is absolutely nothing that can't be created for a movie screen. However, what we see on film is quite different from what the actors are dealing with while making the movie. In a new exclusive clip that is part of the new Digital and Blu-ray release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, star Eddie Redmayne talks about what it's like working opposite things that aren't really there, and just how insane, and tiring, the experience truly is. Check it out.
We've often heard the stories coming from actors who work on movies with heavy CGI about the experience of working opposite a character they can't see, that's maybe nothing more than a tennis ball on a stick. Eddie Redmayne explains that for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, while there certainly was some of that, the fantastic beasts were actually created using a variety of different methods. According to Redmayne...
Working with CGI beasts is hilarious. It's totally bizarre. It's as weird and odd as you would imagine it to be. Sometimes you're working with actually nothing, so if you're, Pickett for example, you just imagine him there. And then, sometimes, you have these amazing puppeteers doing extraordinary things. Sometimes you have men in full body green suits looking ridiculous and you're trying to pretend they are some wondrous, fantastical, creature. And sometimes you're looking at a cross on a stick.
While acting against nothing certainly requires a lot of imagination from the actors, acting against a puppet or a green screen stand-in requires a different sort of imagination. The end result is that at the end of each day Eddie Redmayne was mentally worn out as he's had to stretch himself to his limits performing against such a variety of different "creatures."
And what it does is it makes you get home every night feeling really tired because your imagination has been squished from every side, but I love it.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, while it wasn't nearly as focused on the fantastic beasts as the previous film, still had its share of amazing creatures. Some of the first film's favorites came back along with several new animals. It seems that each one was created using whatever method best suited it, which resulted in the actors having to shift between acting like nothing was something or acting like a puppet was real.
And it's completely understandable that this can be exhausting. In the case of something like acting like a creature is sitting on your hand when there's nothing really there, the actor has some degree of freedom. The digital effects artists simply need to draw in the creature to match what the actor does.
However, in the case of working with green screen stand-ins, that freedom becomes more limited. The creature now must exist in a particular space, so you have to treat those ridiculous looking people in green pajamas in just the right way so that the creature can be created around them.
While this clip was made available exclusively to CinemaBlend, everybody else can watch the entire look at Newt Scamander's magical creatures when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald is released on Blu-ray March 12. For those who can't wait, the film is available in Digital HD starting today and includes an extended cut with additional footage not part of the theatrical release.