Day 54- The Art of Creating Awe- Rob Legato

In James Cameron’s TED talk he tells us he wanted to make Titanic so he could explore the wreck in a submersible. The result was a series of stunning underwater shots, interspersed with the opening of Jack and Rose’s story. But look again at the opening sequence. Some scenes show 2 submersibles. While James Cameron was 3 miles underwater shooting his footage, Rob Legato was in a garage near the studio with a model wooden boat and 2 ‘submersibles’ the size of footballs Cato create the underwater scenes Cameron was unable to get. Legato was rewarded for his efforts with an Oscar.
In this talk he shows videos of how he achieved this and other special effects. It’s essential viewing for filmmakers. There’s rocket scenes from Apollo 13, including the landing, which was achieved by throwing a model out of a helicopter. There’s the scene from Hugo where Sacha Baren Cohen gets his prosthetic leg caught in a train; the movement of the train was simulated by having a camera moving with the floor moving simultaneously.
The shot sequence which Legato is most proud of also takes place in Hugo. As Hugo moves through the bowels of the train station, squeezing underneath clocks and along hidden corridors, Legato wanted to create the impression that this was his special world. He decided to follow Hugo with a camera constantly to achieve the feeling that the scene was shot in one continuous take. To achieve this, they set up a special rig, used 2 different boy and five different sets. Legato asked a friend why the shot got his best ever reviews. His friend answered with a phrase which must sum up the goal of many VFX projects; ‘Because no one knows you had anything to do with it.’


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