If there is one thing Marvel can do at this point it’s stop showing people new footage from Captain Marvel. We’re a little over a week away from the release date so they might as well pump the breaks on the new footage. That doesn’t mean they should stop promoting the movie but there is another way to do it and that’s teasing behind-the-scenes stuff. There is an entire segment of the movie-going public that loves to learn about everything that goes on behind the camera and ICG Magazine or the International Cinematographers Guild Magazine is here to show off some fun stuff. It gave us three new behind-the-scenes images and an interview with cinematographer Ben Davis about some of the decisions he made for the film.
“It’s very character-centric and all about Danvers’ emotional journey,” Davis relates. “Much of the work is very intimate, and the choice of lens was key because the camera is either following her or leading her into these new environments. When Brie’s character arrives on Earth, it can’t be that you’re already there and watch her arrive; you have to go along with her in order to feel the emotional arc she travels.”
It really is fascinating how much work is put into making these choices for cinematographers and another reason the Academy was idiotic to almost blow off this category. There are so many subtle changes that Davis could make that would change the entire feel of the scene.
One of the unique challenges for Davis was the fact that the movie takes place in the ’90s. That meant it had to be shot a little differently from Marvel movies that take place in the present like Avengers: Age of Ultron or Doctor Strange which Davis also worked on.
“I liked getting the chance to shoot this portrayal of an extraordinary character against a realistic environment, which helped ground the movie,” he elaborates. “Setting it in the 1990s meant there was a visual language in place, one that provided ideas for how we’d move the camera.”
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is becoming known for de-aging various members of their casts but those moments are usually just a few scenes. This time we’re going to have two actors, Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg, de-aged for the entire movie. It’s a risk because if they move into the uncanny valley it could ruin the entire movie. Visual Effects Supervisor Christopher Townsend spoke about the process.
“[De-aging is] a painstaking, frame-by-frame manipulation of the image,” Townsend explains. “And since I’ve used them many times previously, Lola Visual Effects was our main go-to for that work. We spent a huge amount of time in preproduction determining how the younger Sam Jackson would look. That included what we could do practically that could help their effort, like with hair and makeup, plus we had reference of him in other movies from that era. Supervisor of additional VFX Janelle Croshaw looked after that whole body of work, which requires a light touch to avoid stepping on his performance. Photographing people with different lenses and in different lighting conditions can alter their apparent age rather drastically; in reality, we accept that. But with digital manipulation, those situations come off like red flags, so we have to be especially careful not to go too far afield.”
People like Davis and Townsend are the reason you should always stay through the credits of movies. While Marvel has trained us to do this any way you should stay for all movies. All of the names on that screen put in a crazy amount of the work and the least we can do, as an audience, is watch them go by.
Summary: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.
Captain Marvel, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, will also star Brie Larson, Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Samuel L. Jackson. The film is set for release on March 8th, 2019.