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Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is Nearly CGI Free

by
March 31, 2008
Source: io9

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Just when I thought that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull didn't have any major buzz, not only does it make one hell of a comeback by topping the Most Anticipated Summer 2008 Movies list and debuting a new TV spot, but now another solid article that's guaranteed to generate even more buzz hits. Our friends at io9 caught up with production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, who built all of the sets for Indy 4, and heard some very interesting things - primarily that they built almost all of the sets and there really isn't too much CGI.

Dyas is one of today's phenomenal production designers, currently with X-Men 2, Superman Returns, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and Indiana Jones 4 under his belt. You can see a gallery of some of his work over at io9. However, let's get back to the topic at hand. Dyas told io9:

"There really wasn't much CGI. We built all the sets… We built all of the [moving stone staircases, converging stone pillars and other pieces] so it was very nice."

He also goes on to say that they used little to no greenscreen. However, I wouldn't be so quick to jump on a quote like that and say there really will be no CGI in the end. I even remember hearing from Spielberg that the reason the trailer was so late was because they wanted 100% finished scenes and they weren't ready until recently. Peter from SlashFilm calms our nerves, however, saying that "Spielberg estimated during production that 30% of the visual effects would be CGI, but mostly for elements such as backdrops and rotoscope removal of the visible safety wires during stunt sequences. Apparently, the finished film will contain only 'a couple of hundred' effects shots, compared to Michael Bay's Transformers which featured almost 650 effects shots or Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 which featured almost 1,000 effects shots."

I really don't think that having CGI, albeit minimally, in a movie like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a bad thing. I do think it's a good thing that they used the least amount they could, because I think it will stay truer to its roots, but if CGI is used in the right ways, I don't imagine it would be that detrimental. However, I do commend Spielberg for choosing to mimic as closely as possible the techniques they used to film the first three Indiana Jones movies. I hate it when sequels have a disconnected feeling because one decided to use CGI as opposed to the original methods.

Although the first few trailers haven't been overly exciting, the first intro bit in the last TV spot did make me feel a bit nostalgic. I'm very excited to see Indiana Jones return to the big screen again and I'm still holding out hoping that this will live up to the first three.

Does this change your impression of Indiana Jones 4 for the better or for the worse?

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  • Note - despite being awfully close to that ominous April 1st date, this is true. I don't like playing any of those April Fools Day games on here...
  • JNYCE
    good job alex, no wonder this site is a refreshing reprieve from shitty reporting
  • m4st4
    'Just when I thought that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull didn't have any major buzz, not only does it make one hell of a comeback by topping the Most Anticipated Summer 2008 Movies list and debuting a new TV spot' Yeah...and TV spot was 'really awesome'... Indy will be incredible, no doubt, but Spielberg and Lucas are lazy...Few pics, lame teaser (after three times, it really is)...I LOVE INDY! BUT GIVE US SOMETHING EXCITING!!! Although, I know it will be amazing...
  • RP
    I don't think his comparing the amount of CGI to films like Transformers or Spiderman very helpful... they would obviously contain far more CGI than most films.
  • nha
    set building is great - but CG does help create worlds not otherwise possible - so to say this is just stupid and childish - especially given spielberg was one of the first to embrace it. Oh and whats that nasty looking shot where the german car races along a cliff edge - plenty of CG in there! Looks nasty actually.
  • Movie Lover
    I like the new Indy trailer....because it shows so little. I am sick of trailers that reveal the whole dang plot in 30 seconds, every cool effect shot, all the tense scenes or jokes. Speilberg was always good about giving you just enough to make you interested. For anyone else over the age of 32 or so...remember the advertising campaign for "E.T."? NOBODY saw the alien until they went to the theater. He kept that very, very secret. And it was such a nice surprise to know absolutely nothing about E.T.....there was very little revealed in the trailer or beforehand. I miss that kind of promo. Making you excited for a film just with the bare essentials. Do you really have to give a ton of detail in a trailer about one of the most famous and beloved film characters? I don't think so. Just put "Indiana Jones" on there, and I will believe the movie is good. So fie on those who want everything spoiled before the release date!
  • REAL6
    Movie Lover: For anyone else over the age of 32 or so…remember the advertising campaign for "E.T."? NOBODY saw the alien until they went to the theater. He kept that very, very secret. And it was such a nice surprise to know absolutely nothing about E.T…..there was very little revealed in the trailer or beforehand. I miss that kind of promo. Making you excited for a film just with the bare essentials. I COULD'NT AGREE WITH YOU MORE!!!
  • I'm 36 and I do fondly recall the E.T. ad campaign, and Gremlins, Jaws, hell every movie back then. These days it take extensive effort to avoid spoilers from every form of media on Earth. I tape BTS shows, bookmark "making of" sites, save magazines to check them out AFTER I've seen the film in theaters.
  • it's gonna be tough to even come close to the quality and originality of the original Indiana Jones'
  • fallenskater104
    my exact opinion
  • Chaz
    nearly CG free compared to what? TOY STORY? Wtf

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