If you’re a fan of the special effects in The Matrix you’ll want to read this article over at Wired. Warning: It does contain some minor film spoilers. The article talks with special-effects supervisor John Gaeta on how his team pulled off film making’s most ambitious fight sequence to date which they lovingly call “The Burly Brawl.”
Fans will wear out their remotes replaying the scene on DVD, but what they won’t see, even riding the Pause button, is a transition that happens early on. When Neo and Agent Smith walk into the courtyard, they are the real Reeves and Weaving. But by the time the melee is in full effect, everyone and everything on the screen is computer-generated – including the perspective of the camera itself, steering at 2,000 miles per hour and screaming through arcs that would tear any physical camera apart.
In short the filmmakers had to create their own personal “Matrix” in order to film some parts of the next two Matrix movies. The implications of being able to create photo-realistic humans and manipulate them in any way you desire is not lost on Gaeta and the article talks about how he even wrote to former President Clinton a few years back about his concerns about the possible misuse of this technology for purposes of mass deception. Now more than ever the old maxim of “the camera never lies” is far from the truth. Still, it’ll make for one helluva movie.