“You can do everything with visual effects right now,” Bayona told the outlet, explaining that it’s worth asking oneself what story the visual effects are trying to tell. “I mean, if you can imagine, you can do it. The thing is that what are you looking for with that visual effect?” The filmmaker, who helmed the first two episodes of “The Rings of Power,” already has an impressive track record when it comes to human stories enhanced by VFX: in 2012, his film “The Impossible” was praised for creating an on-screen tsunami with a mix of practical and digital effects.
Bayona celebrates developments in the visual effects landscape in recent years, saying “a lot of different tools” help filmmakers make the end product feel more real, including pre-visualization tools. Pre-viz is the process of seeing what a shot will look like before it’s actually filmed, often via digital rendering. The director also singles out motion control shots as one area that previously fell flat, explaining that the “Rings of Power” team made a whole new camera to improve the process.
Motion control involves shooting the same shot setup twice, but with different objects or characters on screen each time, which will later be combined into one single shot via special effects. “There is a lot of motion control shots, because we need to play with the scale, different scales between characters in the same shot,” Bayona explained.
In a series with elves, dwarves, and harfoots, there are plenty of scenes that require actors to look taller or shorter than they may actually be. Performers from the series told /Film that the production used practical methods whenever possible, with Elrond actor Robert Aramayo describing setups involving himself on a ladder and his costars on stools.