“Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!”

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007 Horrorthon Posts

In between the original Cloverfield trailer (which debuted in front of Transformers) and the new, longer one (which is currently showing in front of Beowulf) the filmmakers have apparently been re-working a lot of the effects. The “Statue of Liberty’s head tumbling down Broadway” shot, in particular, has been re-done; I made a comparison to show the difference between the old and the new versions of the shot (from the trailers posted at Apple). (Click on the link and then mouse-over to see the more recent version of the same frame.)

Basically the scale has been corrected, more detail and texture have been added, and the lighting environment is more faithful to the surrounding geometry and illumination. Interestingly, the modeling and animation are identical during the first half of the shot (the head spinning through the air); the handoff to the new model occurs during the motion-blur (which is coordinated with the jumping cars). The debris is re-animated as well; the yellow cab in the extreme background (that breaks the head’s fall) is revealed to be CGI along with a couple of the other cars (since they don’t flip the same way). It’s not often that one gets to do a direct comparison, frame by frame, of two “drafts” of the same piece of SFX in this way; for the 0.1% of the population who are as interested in this stuff as I am, it’s a fascinating object lesson.