As we've already discussed twice before, some directors will go to insane lengths to avoid using CGI, seemingly just so they can point at the screen during the premiere and say, "Yeah, a real guy totally did that." And now, thanks to our investigative efforts, you too can annoy people at the movies by telling them that, actually, that famous scene isn't CGI, they did it by ...
(There's plenty of CGI in Cracked's new Star Wars: Adventures in Jedi School miniseries. But we promise, the jokes are all Human-Generated.)
7The Dark Knight Rises -- They Actually Dropped a Plane
Some movie moments make you go "I bet that's CGI," while others are so insane that they leave you saying, "I hope it is." Case in point: The opening to The Dark Knight Rises, where Bane and his misfit gang of true believers hijack and crash a CIA plane by jumping from another C-130 plane, extracting their target, and then de-winging the CIA's ride in midair. That's the sort of crazy shit no one even thought about trying before CGI existed.
We're sorry to do this to your peace of mind, but we're afraid that a lot of what you just saw was real -- we guess Christopher Nolan could have used computer effects, but instead he got a real C-130 and tossed a bunch of real people out the back of it.
To set the mood, each stuntman had an earpiece where he could hear Nolan humming dramatic music.
For the interior shots where they absolutely needed to show the actors (the people they absolutely can't kill), Nolan simply put them in a moving fuselage set on the ground. The stuntmen, on the other hand, were a little more expendable, so Nolan shot their scenes on an actual piece of fuselage hung by a fucking helicopter over rural Scotland.
Or sometimes without the fuselage at all.
"Holy fuck, that's a little too much." -Stanley Kubrick's ghost
Hell, even when the time came to finally fake something, Nolan opted to show a little model plane losing its wings instead of resorting to CGI. And, obviously, they also used models for the part where the plane falls to the ground, because you can't do that kind of shit for rea-
"Models are for nerds."
No, wait -- they totally did that for real. Just fucking found an empty spot and dropped the better half of a plane from the sky.
The debris will remain there, a monument to Nolan's insanity.
The entire shoot was scheduled for nine days. Nolan did it in two, because fuck time, and fuck sanity, and most of all, fuck airplanes.
6Skyfall -- Fighting on (and Under) Speeding Trains
James Bond will do almost anything (and anyone), but he won't do CGI -- the filmmakers try to limit the computer effects to things that don't exist in the real world, like the invisible car or Denise Richards. This means that some of the most insanely dangerous scenes you saw in the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, were created the old-fashioned way.
For instance, remember the part where a full-size train smashes through a wall?
They did that for real. This was accomplished by hanging the train from inverted rails and then proceeding to smash that fucker through a wall. Because realism. Also, although they added Bond escaping from the train in post-production, Daniel Craig was actually on the set when this happened.
That's the second messiest penetration scene ever seen in a Bond movie.
Earlier in the film, there's a scene in which Bond massages a bad guy's kidneys with his fists on top of a speeding train. This was also filmed using practical effects, by which we mean that they actually had Daniel Craig and another guy kick each other's ass on top of a real train, supported by wires no thicker than your finger.
Not pictured: Two agents shitting themselves.
You can see the wire on the last picture -- that's the only thing preventing the actor playing the bad guy from falling off. And yes, that's Daniel Craig himself going after him in the other pictures, not a stunt double. You can see his face more clearly in the trailerrific scene where he drops into the train from a giant hole in the wall, adjusts his cuff, and calmly walks off to pursue the bad guy -- that was all him, too.
For the sake of authenticity, he had to do this while completely shitfaced.
In fact, the only scenes where CGI was used heavily were the one where Bond has to fight a Komodo dragon and the one where MI6 blows up, since even James Bond can't blow up MI6 and get away with it. Yet.