Join New Deal Studios for an in-depth discussion in this video The Dark Knight, part of Creative Inspirations: New Deal Studios, Visual Effects.
(Music playing) Scott Beverly: On 'The Dark Knight,' one of our challenges is we had two vehicles, one weighing about 450 lbs, the other vehicle weighing, what was the track shot? About seven? Forest Fischer: Seven hundred, yeah. Scott: About 700 lbs. The models we had built closely mimicked what they shot, first shoot, and we tried to match them as best as we can. But they were to collide together, and the goal in it was to create as much destruction as possible, on the trash truck with not damaging the tumbler, which was the Batmobile, at all.
What you saw on footage was the choreograph of what we planned to be recorded, or filmed, but all the mechanics that basically drove the event, the crashing, the impacting, that was on a rig that you didn't see. It was beneath the set. And it basically took the brunt of the impact. It was designed to do that. We had to design skates that carried the vehicles, and they basically had guided the cars into where they were supposed to be at the point of impact. Forest: The other thing with that whole event though that you don't - we had cameras less than two feet from the event.
So if anything did go awry anywhere, it could have been catastrophic to cameras and lenses. Scott Schneider: Take all that, all those things, the cameras, the cars, and all that and all this equipment that can't crash, is moving at high speed, and then we cram it inside a very small tunnel, which is set as well. Scott: When we did the shot, and I believe it was our first take, Forest: First take, yeah. Scott: Our first take, when we shot the footage, it worked seamless as far as the impact. It worked seamless as far as the truck coming off the Batmobile, and then we did the next shot, but when the director saw the first take, absolutely loved it, he said we were pretty much done and we were kind of surprised, because we had two more Forest: Setups to do Scott: Setups to do.
Forest: Make the car turn around. Scott Beverly: So the shot that you see in the movie is our first take of that sequence, and we were pleasantly surprised that we could nail it. Usually, we're allotted about three. Scott: Yeah, and the other thing is, though, they continue to shoot. They had two weeks of shooting, so they shot everything that they were contracted to shoot. So they shot everything that was boarded, and everything was done in the animatic, exactly frame-for-frame, the way it was done. But the shot that got used was the very first take.