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About The Production
"In terms of logistics and scope, Spider-Man™ 3 is by far the largest of the three films,” says Ziskin. "We want to fulfill the audience's expectations, yet bring new and exciting experiences to the third movie. Sam has really upped the ante for this film, in terms of action sequences and visual effects involving Sandman and Venom, so it is a gigantic endeavor, with over 1,000 people working toward that goal.”

During production, Raimi relied on key members of his filmmaking team to bring to life before the cameras as much of Peter Parker's story as possible. "Whenever it's safe and practical, I like to capture the action in camera,” says Raimi. "Visual effects are an amazing tool for action that human beings can't do – but if a human being can do it, let's do it.”

The talented team of stuntmen was ready, but so was the cast. Bryce Dallas Howard, especially, surprised the filmmakers by being game for anything they could throw at her. At one point, the actress found herself hanging from a harness. "When a runaway construction crane causes a beam to crash into a building, it demolishes everything and causes the floor beneath Gwen to collapse,” says Howard. "Gwen tries to hang on to whatever she can grab, but eventually plummets many stories before being rescued by Spider-Man.”

After performing several portions of the sequence on soundstages in Los Angeles, Howard was eager to get in the harness again to fly with Spider-Man over Sixth Avenue. "What's so great about movies is you get to really experience these crazy, crazy stunts, things that you would never emerge from alive in real life,” says Howard. "I knew I would be 100% safe because Sam and the stunt team really protect the actors. So I tried to do as many things as possible, because it's really fun and a great adrenaline rush!”

Thomas Haden Church was also up to the challenge – in fact, even more so. Other than Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man himself – Church suffered the most brutal treatment to complete the stunts for Spider-Man™ 3. Whether it was being yanked five feet in the air so he could do a face-plant in the mud, or being chased (and caught) by dogs, or dangling off the side of a set, or falling onto train tracks, or having his face smashed into a pane of plexiglass, the actor found himself bruised and battered repeatedly, but was ready for anything. According to producer Grant Curtis, "It wasn't intentional, but it seemed sometimes like if any actor was required to get beat up in any way, Thomas was always drawing the short straw.”

Two members of the production team that played key roles in ensuring that these action sequences were both as safe and as spectacular as possible were special effects supervisor John R. Frazier (who previously served in the same capacity on the first two Spider-Man™ films) and second unit director Dan Bradley (a veteran of Spider-Man™ 2). "Working with Sam is like going back to school,” says Frazier. "You have that moment where you say, ‘Oh, this is going to be really, really hard, but a lot of fun.' It's not unusual for me to be on a movie like Spider-Man™ 3 for nine months, from the beginning planning stages through production.”

One scene that highlights their work is the Subway Drain portion of an elaborate fight sequence between Spider-Man and Sandman. Raimi worked closely with Frazier, Bradley, and visual effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk on the sequence, in which Sandman is blasted by the force of a burst water pipe and, quite literally, goes down the drain. Sam wanted Sandman to melt away, in essence, during this sequence.

"This is the largest water gag for one shot I've ever done for a film,” recalls Frazier, who had previously supervised the special effects for Poseidon. "We used 50,000 gallons of water, shooting out of a pipe which blasted the rear of the set fifty feet away.<

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