JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
Stunts and Effects
In accordance with Singer's mandate to employ real and practical elements, special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy says, "We tried to introduce as many physical effects as possible," and offers examples of the stalk bursting through Jack's house and the climactic battle scene between humans and giants at Cloister Palace.
"The house set was on hydraulics, based around a steel structure and raised two meters off the floor so that it had integral strength but was cosmetically breakable. We could move it from side to side. Once the stalk breaks through the floorboards we had the whole house rocking with pneumatics under the floor and shaker motors all over, and sections of it would explode upwards as if there were shoots pushing through the floor and lifting furniture, like the table that lands on top of Isabelle and pins her down as she goes up with the house. We did that physically and then they joined it with the digital beanstalk."
Tomlinson recalls, "It was very thrilling. I loved the adrenalin from the mayhem on the stage. The whole set shook and I actually felt that there was something underneath that was going to erupt through the house."
Tuohy also engineered much of the firefight where Jack and Isabelle, King Brahmwell and his army and Elmont's knights, within the palace walls, attempt to repel the giant onslaught.
"That was an exciting scene to shoot, full of energy and movement," recounts Ewan McGregor. "We had about 200 extras, who were all fantastic, and there were horses running up the drawbridge. There was fire on the set, and lots of action and drama. It was all quite impressive."
"The drawbridge that the giants attempt to force open, and the troops try to hold, worked on a hydraulic counterweight system," says Tuohy. "At 56 feet long, 20 feet wide and weighing nearly four tons, just the logistics of making it move up and down in seconds was difficult. We also had burning trees. The giants pick them up outside and digitally throw them over the wall. While the trees are going over they're a visual effect, but when they hit the ground they become a physical effect. So we had flamethrowers and fuel explosions all around."
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