Christopher Nolan said that he and his crew blew up a real Boeing 747 for « Tenet » because it was « more efficient » than practical effects using miniatures or CGI.
In an interview with Total Film magazine, director Nolan said: « I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest. However, while scouting for locations in Victorville, California, the team discovered a massive array of old planes. »
« We started to run the numbers … It became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform this sequence for real in-camera, rather than build miniatures or go the CG route. »
Nolan added: « It’s a strange thing to talk about – a kind of impulse buying, I suppose. But we kind of did, and it worked very well, with Scott Fisher, our special-effects supervisor, and Nathan Crowley, the production designer, figuring out how to pull off this big sequence in camera. It was a very exciting thing to be a part of. »
For the same interview, Robert Pattinson, whose character discusses crashing the plane in the trailer, also chimed in: « You wouldn’t have thought there was any reality where you would be doing a scene where they just have an actual 747 to blow up! »
« It’s so bold to the point of ridiculousness… I remember, as we were shooting it, I was thinking, ‘How many more times is this even going to be happening in a film at all?' »
Pattinson also commented on the film’s spectacle in an interview with GQ. Pattinson said that the 500-strong crew would travel to different countries together to film segments of the movie, « And in each country, there’s, like, an enormous set-piece scene, which is like the climax of a normal movie. In every single country. »
« Tenet, » which has a budget of $205 million, is Nolan’s second most expensive movie to date after « The Dark Knight Rises, » and the film’s trailer shows off some of those spectacular set-pieces in style. The movie is due to be released on July 17 at the time of writing, although that release date could change due to the coronavirus crisis.
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