Rogue Nation – Cinefex 143 Extract

by Graham Edwards

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to snap up a copy of our latest magazine edition – Cinefex 143. Part of your mission briefing is to read this exclusive extract from Keeping it Real, Jody Duncan’s in-depth article about the stunts and effects of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

David Vickery, on loan from Double Negative to serve as the production’s visual effects supervisor, worked closely throughout the shoot and postproduction with visual effects and associate producer Maricel Pagulayan, who carefully chose a visual effects team that included Double Negative, with graphics supplied by One of Us and SPOV.

One of the highlights of Rogue Nation is the show-stopping sequence in which Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) hangs onto the side of an Airbus A400 military transport plane as it takes off. The stunt was first worked out in previs executed by The Third Floor London, under the guidance of Christopher McQuarrie and David Vickery:

“We actually built a CG model of the A400 for the previs,” said The Third Floor previs supervisor Vince Aupetit, “with all the exact measurements, referencing blueprints and photographs of the plane. Airbus provided technical data to the production, as well, and gave us information as to what speeds the plane would reach as it was taxiing and taking off. We put all of that technical information into our previs so it would be as precise as possible. And then, we visualized the camera angles and beats of the stunt itself.”

“We tried to re-create the circumstances exactly as they would be when they actually shot this scene,” said Aupetit. “We considered things like wind turbulence and the size of the different windows and doors on the plane, and how they functioned. On our CG plane, we had the actual structures Tom could grab onto, as well as all the rigging for the camera. Everything in the previs was done with the idea that they were going to have to shoot this for real.”

The previs not only served creative and technical purposes, it also helped to reassure Airbus, which had some reluctance about turning over one of its mega-million-dollar aircraft to production and was also anxious about damage to the company’s reputation should something go awry. “Their caution was understandable,” David Vickery commented. “It was an extremely valuable plane, and they didn’t want it to be damaged. They also didn’t want anyone to be hurt. By designing the shots so thoroughly in advance, we were able to go to Airbus and show them exactly what we wanted to film.”

Read the complete article in Cinefex 143, which also features Ant-Man, The Walk and Terminator Genisys.

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