Primetime Live's story on CGI in the Movies (Braveheart question)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Miller, Jun 28, 2001.

  1. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Did anybody see this? Tonight, ABC's Primetime Live did a story on the use of CGI characters in movies. Most of the story focused on the upcoming Final Fantasy movie.
    The story was moving through several movies that had utilized CGI characters before and Braveheart was mentioned as one of them. Specifically, that the most of the extras in the battle scenes were CGI characters.
    Did I miss something? I've never, ever heard that before. As a matter of fact, I don't think it is true. From what I saw from the "making of" on the dvd, they hired a whole army of extras (literally) for the battle scenes.
    Your thoughts,
    Peace,
    DM
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    "We all end up dead, the question is how and why."
     
  2. Bryan Farris

    Bryan Farris Agent

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    Didn't see the special, so I can't comment on it, but I do know where the CGI in Braveheart is: When the Horses are speared with the trees at the beginning of the first battle.
    It's kind of hard to do that shot for real without pissing off the Humane Society... [​IMG]
     
  3. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Peter Fitzgerald
    The CGI aspect of BRAVEHEART got some promotional play when the film was new. Apart from the simulated wounding of the horses already mentioned, the CGI was mostly used for some extreme long shots of Edward the Longshanks' army lining up for battle (before the actual fighting begins). There were a ton of live extras, but they used CGI to triple that number of men & horses. Once the mayhem begins, everybody you see is a real person, I believe. A couple of quick shots of battle gore might've been CGI, too, although I'm not 100% sure on that point.
     
  4. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Yes, Longshanks army was enlarged using CGI. No matter, it was still a damn impressive shot and one that only heightened the drama of the scene.
    Bruce
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    "I'm taking the No. 1 horse...Up Yours!"-Let It Ride
     
  5. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    They didn't use CGI characters in Braveheart, they digitally multiplied the extras by having them stand in different spots in the frame and reshoot the sequence in multiple takes. The computer blended the shots altogether into one seamless take.
    The horses were shot in close up with CGI stakes going into them (very quick cuts so you wouldn't notice the effect). Long shots were of dummy horses with stunt riders getting impaled on styrofoam sticks.
    Forrest Gump did the same thing for the crowd scenes.
    Much more effective than fake CGI drawings.
    Dan
     

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