The visual effects used in Baz Luhrmann's update of "The Great Gatsby" were heavily divisive, with some praising the film's bold aesthetics and others lambasting its overzealousness. Now the movie's production team has released a revelatory reel dissecting the use of digital effects throughout "Gatsby."
The four-minute clip shows scenes that were shot via green screen and then superimposed against the story's lavish backdrops, including decadent homes and an exuberantly lit Times Square. Each green-screen shot is seen (or blue screen, as is often the case) before it dissolves into the edited version, quickly transforming the moment into what was seen on screen. Some of the film's more obvious green-screen scenes, such as Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby's fast-paced drive through the streets of New York, are juxtaposed against moments in which the digital effects might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Lana Del Rey's "Gatsby" soundtrack addition, the haunting "Young and Beautiful," scores the reel.
Chris Godfrey, visual effects supervisor for "Gatsby," wrote the following message on the video's Vimeo page:
Baz has graciously agreed to let us release this ‘before and afters’ reel to show our peer group the VFX work completed on his film ‘The Great Gatsby’. While this specific reel was the work of Animal Logic (as my primary vendor), in total I worked with 7 vendors including Animal Logic, Rising Sun and Iloura in Australia, ILM in San Francisco and also Prime Focus and Method Vancouver. We also ran an amazing internal SWAT team that completed over 400 shots. Congratulations to all who did such fabulous work on almost 1500 shots.
"Gatsby" is not the only film to offer a glimpse into its effects' editing process. David Fincher's 2007 thriller "Zodiac" has since provided the same insight, and "Iron Man 3" recently unveiled a storyboard sequence that detailed how Tony Stark's mansion-attack scene went from concept to execution.