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‘Hail, Caesar!’ VFX Team Used New Techniques to Emulate Old Ones

The visual effects work for The Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! involvedan unusual blend of making cutting-edge CGI look old-school. That’s because the film takes place during the golden age of Hollywood–the 1950s–when special effects like matte paintings and miniatures were de rigeur. Since the movie incorporates several different other genre films within its narrative, the visual effects team was tasked with recreating a number of different looks.

One such look involved being underwater with a submarine. “Even though the sub ended up being done entirely digitally, we took into constant consideration how popular the use of miniatures was back in that time,” VFX supervisor Dan Schrecker tells Art of VFX. “This meant messing around with elements such as the scale of the CG water and playing with depth of field. This helped give it a stylized look and worked well with the practical photography – which utilized a big painted backdrop for the sky to really blur the lines between reality and the world of movie making.”