Beyond Christopher Nolan: ‘First Man’ Redefines In-Camera VFX

Beyond Christopher Nolan: ‘First Man’ Redefines In-Camera VFX
With inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” Damien Chazelle set out to redefine shooting in camera for “First Man,” dramatizing Nasa’s mission to the moon, with Ryan Gosling as astronaut Neil Armstrong. “We had to create a gentle balance using a diverse mixture of visual effects, special effects, archival footage, and scaled models to help create the 1960’s documentary style film that was Damien’s vision,” said production VFX supervisor Paul Lambert of Dneg (this year’s Oscar winner for “Blade Runner 2049”).

The biggest challenge was how to shoot the space and in-flight elements with Dneg’s CG content to fit within the boundaries of a movie being shot 16mm and 35mm (the climactic lunar sequence was shot with IMAX cameras by cinematographer Linus Sandgren for a surreal “Wizard of Oz” effect).

“The effects had to be subtle and shot in a particular way to make it feel like footage from the day,
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