Throwback Thursday: The Crow - Behind the Special Effects

Throwback Thursday: The Crow - Behind the Special Effects
Inspirations Jun 08, 2017 at 08:11 AM

Brandon Lee was killed near the end of filming of the 1994 film The Crow, and the production team had to figure out how to finish the film without him. The video also talks about some of the other effects in the film.

In the scene with the broken mirror, Brandon Lee's face was superimposed on a body double during flashes of lightning. Artists from the VFX company Dream Quest Images spent over 500 hours on this scene. His face was added to the shards of glass in post. Crazy. This is seriously impressive work, considering that the footage was handheld. Here's an excerpt from a book called Digital Filmmaking: The Changing Art and Craft of Making Motion Pictures by Thomas Ohanian and Natalie Phillips that talks about Mark Galvin, the executive producer for Dream Quest Images. There's a visual breakdown of how the shot was composited here.

With current software, this shot would still be a lot of work, but it could be done with Mocha and After Effects in a lot less time. 

Mental Floss has an interesting article, 18 Fascinating Facts about the Crow, and how they had to rework the script after Brandon Lee's death. They also discuss how they used Ravens instead of crows in the film, and since Ravens are not nocturnal, they had to train the birds to be awake at night! 

Posted by Michele Yamazaki