Barbie Land's journey to the real world is mostly a "hands-on" effect (video)

Barbie Land’s journey to the real world is mostly a “hands-on” effect (video)

“Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!” Greta Gerwig shot everything she could in real life and not in digital.

Combined, the budgets of Barbie and D’Oppenheimerwhich have been competing for a week at the box office, represent a lower sum than that which allowed Disney-Marvel to produce Thor: Love and Thunder. Yet these two seemingly very different films were both crafted with maximum practical effect within the Warner Bros and Universal studios.

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This excerpt from a making-of of Barbie illustrates this desire of Greta Gerwig to film as much as possible in hard sets while using various practical effects to give an aspect “plastic” to its world and its characters. The set design team, overseen by Sarah Greenwood (known for Anna Karenina, by Joe Wright) thus ensured that the six universes crossed by Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) to access the real world were created in real life. In the old way, by taking up concepts from the beginnings of cinema.

We therefore see here the actors mounted on board the car (in kit!) or Barbie’s boat while technicians pull on cables or blow cellophane to imitate the movement of the waves. “We really took up classic methods of the 7th art: for it to work, the rolling floor goes very quickly and the background, very slowly”, she comments. The actor confirms: “We used techniques from old silent films, it looked like a Karel Zeman film!”

A truly classic reference, this Czech director having remained famous for his mixtures of live action and animation allowing the creation of special effects. Working from the 1940s to the 1970s, he notably adapted tales from Thousand and one Night in particularly inventive short films given the limited financial means he had at his disposal.

Plans were also filmed on a blue background to add digital sets, but as soon as possible, Greta Gerwig obviously favored practical effects. Other making-ofs of this kind should soon reveal behind the scenes of the production of Barbie. No doubt they will be present in the bonuses of the film on DVD and blu-ray?

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