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THE HULK

A Being, Green
While understood that the Hulk half of Banner would be a creation of advanced moviemaking technology (i.e. computer generated imagery), the young actor playing his other half was to be the starting point for the creature. Banner's mannerisms had to be discernable in the creature—if to no one other than Betty Ross—and Bana himself would need to exhibit specific body articulations in certain scenes as Banner on his way to "hulking out.” 

Groundwork began on this in sessions organized by stunt coordinator Charlie Croughwell during pre-production; these workouts not only prepared Bana physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Croughwell dubbed his sessions with Bana "Hulk School” and the actor attended as often as he could, even well into the beginning of principal photography. Since the director wanted the Hulk to be agile as well as strong, a variety of training techniques were utilized to build on the actor's strengths and finesse the movements from athletic to almost choreographic— all of this intended to give an origin to the monster's movements, as what Banner does feeds into the Hulk's physicality.

"I'd never worked on a film with CGI before and this was obviously special because of ILM and Dennis Muren and his team,” says Eric Bana. "It was like working on two different films at once, which made it very interesting and exciting. We'd do this intense scene and I'd feel like I was in the most dramatic film and then I'd have a couple days off and come back and wonder, ‘What is going on here? What happened to the dark, personal drama I was working on? They're ripping down walls and destroying sets.' It was fascinating.” 

Bana's performance became the template for the Hulk's emotions and reactions, but ultimately, it wasn't possible for Bana to approximate the Hulk's gargantuan movements and colossal destruction. 

"Although there are human elements to the Hulk, he can't move like a person because he is so immense and because, ultimately, he is a monster,” says ILM's nine-time Oscar. winner, visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren. "It was much more appropriate and truer to the character to create that in the computer.” 

It was an accepted fact that literally the largest of the film's stars would never appear on the set, despite his having to perform opposite every other cast member in the film. So, it was up to the production team and the wizards at ILM to come up with alternatives to represent the creature. 

So, enter the "stand-ins” for the Hulk. The most basic was a crude rendering of the Hulk's head on a telescoping pole, which became known as "Elvis.” Additionally, ILM introduced a series of other objects and instruments to provide such information as how the creature should appear in the frame and how the light reflected and refracted off of his enormous shape—these became known as the "Reference Parade,” which were comprised of a large green Hulk bust, a sphere with both a shiny and a matte surface and a large oval emerald piece of Hulk "skin.” (When these objects were needed in a shot, the first assistant director would call out to "bring on the Vannas,” and the visual effects coordinator, an ILM representative and a stand-in or production assistant would display the objects at various angles for the camera and benefit of ILM.) 

Director Lee explains, "I loved the old Hulk television show and it was a thrill to have Lou Ferrigno come and be a small part of our film. Back when the show was being made, a bodybuilder was the perfect solution. But, my Hulk has to be more than an embodiment of human strength. That is why this film could not be made without the help of the geniuses at ILM. We have approached the Hulk design from both the inside—with all the amazing ways they can create bone and muscle structure in the computer and then make it move—and also from the outside, taking inspirations from everything from<

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