You’d have to be living under a Thanos-sized rock to be unfamiliar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) by now.
Ten years and many box office records later — including Avengers: Endgame becoming the highest grossing film of all time — the MCU continues to dazzle fans. And the beloved Spider-Man has a lot to do with that.
If you ever wondered how the action-packed, stunning visuals come to life on the big screen, it’s a true labour of love. 9Honey Celebrity had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with the visual effects creators in Los Angeles to learn a few of the secrets behind Marvel’s movie magic.
Now portrayed by 23-year-old British actor Tom Holland, Spidey — aka Queens, New York, teenager Peter Parker — swung to new heights with his second solo film, this year’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, which raked in more than US$1.1 billion [approx. $1.6 billion] at the global box office, becoming the second-highest grossing Spider-Man film ever after 2002’s Spider-Man (starring Tobey McGuire).
Picking up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home finds Parker struggling to cope with the death of his mentor, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) while on his high school field trip to Europe, but then faces a harrowing new challenge when a mysterious foe wreaks havoc in Italy.
WATCH: Official trailer for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (post continues)
Spider-Man: Far From Home is rife with the web-slinging, gravity-defying action scenes we’ve come to expect from Spidey, but the visual effects team at the Los-Angeles-based The Third Floor went through many, many concepts before landing on what you see in the film today.
Like any creative endeavor, the process starts with an idea. The Third Floor, which also worked on Avengers: Endgame and a total 22 MCU films, specialises in what’s called pre-visualisation, essentially a sophisticated, digital sequence of what the scene will look like before the heavier special effects — what’s seen in the final film — are added. Just to give you a sense of scale, a single movie can include thousands of shots that make up these sequences.
“We really put our all into this one,” Third Floor Chief Executive Officer Christopher Edwards told press of Avengers: Endgame and how it shaped Spider-Man: Far From Home.
“This one really gave us the opportunity to explore more elaborate cinematography. It really pushed us to think of new solutions to make it more Spidey-like in all the ‘hero’ moments.”
The Third Floor team looked back to Sam Raimi’s uber-successful Spider-Man (2002) for inspiration to ratchet up Spidey’s on-screen appeal.
But even as Holland has a strong dance and gymnastics background, it wasn’t possible for him pull off Spidey’s amazing moves in every shot, such as a gripping scene where he must save innocent civilians from a monster made of molten lava.
So a combination of motion-capture (where an actor is outfitted in a suit that captures their movements, which are later enhanced through various special effects) and pre-visualisation effects are used to make sure that his big “hero” moments were truly innovative (there are seven Spider-Man feature films, after all) and showcase that the young hero can do things that no other Avenger can.
And luckily for us fans, there will be plenty more web for Spidey to spin, as it was confirmed that Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Studios reached a deal for the beloved comic book hero to remain in the MCU, appearing in a third solo film and future MCU films. And thanks are in order to Holland, who helped broker the deal himself!
Just another service provided by your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is available on Digital September 30 and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ & DVD October 23.
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