Friday, October 22, 2010

"Hereafter Movie" brings the Tsunami closer to life than ever before

I knew that one day, someone would get close to bringing the emotion of the 2004 tsunami to life. It appears that Clint Eastwood has done just that in the movie to be released this week called "Hereafter." I will plan to see the movie in the next couple of weeks, but of course, with much intrepidation. For many survivors, who choose to see it, it will be the closes to ever reliving the horrific day. I will update the bottom of this blog on thoughts in a couple of weeks. Let me know what you think if you are reading this - and have seen the movie.

- Rick

Here is what the press is saying...

"Eastwood tackles tsunami in Hereafter..."

"...a ferociously authentic depiction of a tsunami disaster. He was coming to it fresh as an audience member. And after being subjected to its full cinematic impact, he found himself marvelling that Eastwood had brought off a film like this - complete with challenging special effects - in his 80th year."

"That whole CGI Thing - Clint kind of just plowed into it with utter confidence," Damon says. "And that sequence is incredible."

" the tsunami that is featured in hereafter is indeed an F/X generated simulation of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that pounded Indonesia…."

"… With an opening scene that depicts the destructive spirit of a naturally-occurring tsunami, Hereafter might have one of the most disturbing beginnings ever filmed by any director - not just Eastwood. The danger is immediate and brutal and poignantly realistic – with remarkable special effects provided by Scanline VFX – that absolutely douses the viewer with the rushing water of that gigantic wave...."

"... The movie begins in 2004 with Thailand's awful tsunami which killed thousands of people. It's a gripping horrific sequence""

" It’s nothing if not daring to begin a movie with its most remarkable sequence. In fact, the opening of Hereafter — a vivid depiction of the tsunami that struck Thailand in 2004 — is one of the most amazing sequences of the year, a gripping combination of special effects and speeding camera work that hits the screen with tidal force..."

Here are notes from the Warner Motion Picture production site:

That dichotomy is never more apparent than in the tsunami sequence, which would involve location shooting in the town of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui. ``We considered a lot of different places to shoot that sequence, Lorenz notes. ``We needed a sort of alleyway that led to the beach, where people could run up to get away from the wave. Front Street on Maui just made the most sense for that.

To capture the moment when Cécile de France and a small child are caught in the massive wave, Stern and Campanelli put cameras on surfboards and took them out into the water, followed by Eastwood himself. ``I'd not seen Clint jump in the water before, but it's pretty typical of his directing style, says Lorenz. ``He wants to get right in there and be a part of it, so he can make sure he gets what he wants and be able to point the camera in every direction.

``We were amazed, Kennedy remembers. ``I mean, the water was such that the waves were quite big. It was almost impossible to keep the camera on the little surfboard. And Clint just dove in, pulled himself up on the boat, checked the camera, then went back into the water with everybody. Rob and I were standing comfortably on shore with no thought in our minds of going into the water, she smiles, adding, ``but Clint and the cast and camera crew were in there getting the shot. It was pretty remarkable on all fronts.

De France was excited to shoot the sequence in the ocean. ``I think Clint likes to stick with reality, she says. ``He wants people to feel close to his characters, and as an actress, it was thrilling for me to do my own stunts in the water.

``I have never been in a tsunami, though my son was in Thailand when the big 2004 tsunami happened, and I talked to a lot of people who were there, says Eastwood. ``A lot of people photographed it, and you could see that it was devastating.

To create the wave itself, Michael Owens and his team did reference the tragic events of 2004, looking at documentary footage and stills, and adding in elements that would reflect the intimacy of Marie's point of view. ``It's a complicated sequence because Clint was not presenting it how you'd see it on the news, says editor Joel Cox, who has worked with Eastwood for 35 years, and, along with Gary Roach, edited ``Hereafter. ``We were trying to create it based on what people say they've seen and experienced-something that most people have never experienced in life. All the shots and effects are in service of creating, through Marie, an idea of what it's like to live through a tsunami, and specific to the story, to die in the water, and then come back.

The complex sequence was built from components captured on the beach at Lahaina, as well as footage captured in the UK, at Pinewood Studio's massive tank. ``Clint always shoots on practical locations whenever possible, and from a visual effects perspective, that presents challenges but also helps maintain a strong basis in reality, says visual effects supervisor Michael Owens. ``In this case, we were able to shoot Cécile in the tanks, in front of a green screen, at the mercy of water canons and whirlpools swirling around her, to give a real, palpable sense of what her character goes through.

Owens, working with visual effects house Scanline, utilized laser scans of all the elements-from the beach, to the actors, to the debris caught in the tsunami-to create a digital model in which the devastating wave could be created.

``It's really quite something, says Eastwood. ``To depict that, to recreate that, is very, very difficult, and water is particularly difficult to do, but we had to do it that way. You also had to have some computer generated material in order to really tell the story we're trying to tell, and Michael did a great job of making that wave real.


At 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you end up seeing the film & if so, what did you think?

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking of what Marie and Matt Damon's character were going to do with their future. I believe that Marie would support him emotionally, so that he would feel less uncomfortable using his "gift" to help people. People need help to deal with the enormity of death.
Suzanna, hospice RN


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