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Wednesday, 12 March 2014 16:56

The VFX-Heavy World of 300: Rise of an Empire

Written by  Dyana Carmella
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The new period war epic 300: Rise of an Empire catapults moviegoers into the action-packed, high-seas battle between the Greeks and Persians during the Battle of Salamis. Directed by Noam Murro and produced by Gianni Nunnari, Zack Snyder, Mark Canton, Deborah Snyder and Bernie Goldmann, the film stars Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green and Lena Headey and is a sequel to the blockbuster film 300 (directed by Snyder).

Shot in studios in Los Angeles and Bulgaria, 300: Rise of an Empire required an insane amount of planning, imagination and digital artistry, and the result is pure entertainment for anyone in need of an exciting thrill-ride. One of the pros of shooting in Bulgaria was the enormous amount of genuinely talented craftsmen who were skilled in building weapons and helping the construction department — and the quality of their work takes the film to a whole new level. 

300-rise-of-an-empire-19 SMWhile 300 followed the Spartans’ point of view, 300: Rise of an Empire is told from the perspective of the Greek forces before, during and after the events in 300. “A lot of the film is about human struggle and family and revenge and love, and I think that these things are universal and timeless,” says Snyder, who co-wrote both films. To visually re-create history, 300: Rise of an Empire hired a team of visual effects artists that’s comparable to a Greek army. When a film requires a large amount of visual effects, there’s a challenge regarding the scale of the world in which the actors are placed. While visual-effects designers usually scale backgrounds to real-world dimensions to keep things as realistic and intimate as possible, this film also illustrates vast horizons that will expand the minds of moviegoers.  

Snyder praises Production Designer Patrick Tatopoulos on the superb way in which he created the Greek world. “I think the rules that have been established and sort of work, [the production team] understood that, and Patrick really understood that in an incredible way,” says Snyder. “He’s working with us now on the Superman/Batman movie, and we’ve had a really great experience with him. I think he’s awesome. The sets that he’s built and these ships, the Persian capital and Athens, they all look pretty amazing and I think he’s done a really great job with letting the scale exist.” And since the storyline of 300: Rise of an Empire runs parallel to the story in 300, Snyder looks forward to seeing a combination of the two films in the future: “I thought it would be cool once this movie comes out on DVD if some fan could cut the two movies together into a single film.”


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