By Fred Topel | Image property of Columbia Pictures.
They said you couldn’t have a man swinging through the streets of New York, but they did it. They said you couldn’t give a man metal tentacles but they did it. Is there nothing that the Spider-Man team can’t achieve in part three?
Spider-Man 3 Special Effects
“I think what’s different is we had new challenges this time,” said Sam Raimi. “We had to bring about the Sandman and we’ve got a great special effects designer in Scott Stokdyck who was one of the two fellows who did the first two Spider-Man pictures, along with John Dykstra, and now he’s got the job alone. We’ve got a lot of the same animators, we’ve replaced a lot of them, others have moved on. But the core team is there and we’ve tried to build upon it. So we’ve become better at working with animation. I’ve learned a lot over the last five years. It’s like directing animated picture after animated picture you start to understand what’s working and what’s not and why.”
What he’s learned has been not so much technical as artistic. “It’s really about bringing about, for us, Sandman to the screen. How can we make it believable to the audience? Not just fantastic, but believable, that this fellow could turn into sand and become this substance and still be a human being. It’s really without feeling the hand and the manipulation of the artist all the time, but just getting into the dream of it and getting sucked up into the story. So it’s about technical expertise and artistic expertise on behalf of the teams of artists we have working on those effects. And they made a lot of new techniques available to themselves. They’ve developed some new programs, written some new programs. They’ve taken some existing software and combined it in new ways that we haven’t seen, new applications for it and a lot of just ideas, ideas that they did some groundbreaking on and are still groundbreaking on. We still aren’t sure we can do it, actually.”
By comparison, Venom is a piece of cake. “Venom is less of a technical challenge and more of an artistic challenge in trying to capture the spirit of this very powerful, somewhat spiderized graceful-but-animal, not Spider-Man’s style of movement. That’s more about capturing a dance form on screen.”