The Wolf of Wall Street VFX Breakdown

The Academy Awards nominations were recently released and it's no surprise that "The Wolf of Wall Street" received nominations in the "Best Picture" and "Best Actor" categories, but what about visual effects? The visual effects for the movie while extremely subtle are outstanding to say the least. The company behind the special effects for the movie is Brainstorm Digital. They released the VFX breakdown of "The Wolf on Wall Street", and proves just how much special effects can have an impact on modern storytelling.

You can check out Brainstorm Digital's full visual effects reel below:

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14 Comments

Jaron Schneider's picture

That's effing astonishing.

DUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDEEEEEE

Spoilers.

very cool stuff. Reminds me of Stargate films backlot demos.
https://vimeo.com/35769675

Jayson Carey's picture

I respect the skill involved, but I don't understand why they did a lot of the shots like that, as many of the shots in camera seem pretty lazy, honestly. It would seem they could have easily changed location, built a set, or even just camera angle and come away with the same storytelling devices and impressive shots without hundreds of man-hours on the computer. This, to me, seems like "we'll just fix it in post" run amok.

On the flip side, they aren't using a ton of material on a set that may or may not get re-used in the future.

Budgetary reasons. ~$100M budget is still a budget, you know. :)

Also, saying '"we'll just fix it in post" run amok' about a film directed by Martin Scorsese, with Rodrigo Prieto as cinematographer is kind of inappropriate... They really deserve respect.

Jayson Carey's picture

I'm not saying I don't respect their work, I literally said that in my first sentence. I don't really have issue with anything in the move, however, you don't think they could have found a house with a front door that looked the part rather than replacing 90% of the frame?

Savi You's picture

Maybe they filmed this sequence and decided to change it after the fact?

"I respect the skill involved, but I don't understand why they did a lot of the shots like that, as many of the shots in camera seem pretty lazy, honestly."

It looked like you respected skill involved in VFX and bashing direction/cinematography. But that's just me being nit-picking asshole. :P

To the matter at hand, I'd guess that they actually found house they liked. That's why that replacement was applied. If they didn't care about such detail they wouldn't bother with this replacement. But sending small crew with VFX supervisor to this location, rather then transporting actors, much bigger crew with equipment, from logistic/financial standpoint seems like no-brainer. In modern studio-driven big budget movies there is a big (and negative) tendency of cutting down duration of principal photography to the bone. As an effect directors are forced to rely more and more on post production to meet the deadlines. I definitely don't like that trend but that's just studios cutting costs. Not directors/cinematographers being sloppy or opting for "fix-it-in-post doctrine".

Using properly balanced VFX for the benefit of the story (eg. doubling Armie Hammer in Soial Network) is entirely different subject and I'm all for it.

You don't think it takes hundreds of man hours to build a set?

Just add some digital actors and let the computer direct the whole thing too. Who needs humans anyway?

hmm...I really admire the skills..but...Can those "vfx" shots actually be done inside the camera...?

I'm not sure whether to love this or hate this.