Ever wonder how Oscar-nominated cinematographer Matthew Libatique kept his camera crew out of the way of those gorgeous mirror shots that keep popping up in Black Swan?
OK, maybe you knew that was done with CG. (You’re reading this blog, after all.) But if you’re curious just how much effort went in to the unobtrusive VFX that made every shot in the film match the vision of director Darren Aronofsky, also Oscar-nominated, take a look at this terrific VFX reel — be warned that there are many SPOILERS! here — created by the folks at Look Effects to highlight their work on the film.
Of course, for a psychological thriller film like Black Swan, the success or failure of the VFX hinges on a typical audience member’s ability to realize that they’re actually looking at VFX shots. If you think about it that way, Look Effects might have done its job too well. Although Black Swan won a total of five Oscar nominations in major categories, it was not only absent from the Academy’s final five Best VFX picks, it didn’t even make the final-fifteen slate announced back in December. I mean no offense, of course, to any of the VFX artists whose work did make the cut. But it’s worth taking the time here to understand the role of VFX in bringing Aronofsky’s nightmare ballet to life.