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‘Barbie’ forgoes CGI For old school stage effects

"It looked like a Karel Zeman movie." -Ryan Gosling

‘Barbie’ has already proven to be the feel-good hit of the summer, grossing $162 million domestically and cementing the fourth highest grossing opening weekend of all time. What might surprise some about the new blockbuster is that several scenes forgo modern CGI for practical effects straight out of classic theater.

The “travel sequence” happens several times throughout the film, and production designers chose to have the integral scenes play out using the same effects that had been synonymous with theater and early silent films. In a video tweeted by the film’s account, several of the films stars and production personnel comment on the techniques.

See also: IMAX films still run on a surprising piece of vintage tech

“Every time we shot one of those transportation sequences, it was the most satisfying thing to watch,” commented Director/Writer of the film Greta Gerwig. “I settled on wanting it to look like a diorama from the Natural History Museum.”

“It looked like a Karel Zeman movie,” remarked Ryan Gosling.

“You might have a boat that’s moving, and that’s literally our crew members pulling a rope and putting little bits of cellophane to make the water look like its twinkling,” a smiling Margot Robbie commented.

Barbie is playing in theaters everywhere.


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