James Gunn's Peacemaker is just a cool show. Not only are the characters and the story of the HBO Max series interesting and frequently hilarious, but the look and feel of the series is packed with interesting elements, thanks in large part to the stunning visual effects work done on the series. Eagly, Peacemaker's pet bald eagle is of course a standout, but there are lot of other impressive elements — including a sort of "quantum closet". Introduced early in the series, the closet is a room inside the home of Peacemaker's (John Cena) father Auggie Smith (Robert Patrick) that is a seemingly endless storage space for the various weapons and helmets he creates.
But while the closet on screen seems endless, in real life there are some size restrictions and that's where Wētā FX came in with VFX supervisor Mark Gee recently telling ComicBook.com that getting the space to truly look and feel infinite was an interesting challenge.
"It was an interesting concept which James described as an infinite space," Gee said. "Arguably walk into this room where he has all these helmets and these devices, and it would expand infinitely out. So, that was simply the brief. What was shot on set was basically one or two layers of those cabinets, and that's all you saw. Everything up beyond that was all CG. So, the hard part was to make that feel infinite, especially because we were down at eye level in a lot of those shots. There's only two shots where you're up above so you got to see the sparseness of the space there. We experimented a lot as far as laying out the cabinets. Would it look like a cityscape at night? Would there be star scape or auroras, or would it just fall off the black?"
He continued, "and we went through all these sort of tests and concepts of doing this. The hardest thing was down at ground level, looking back through all those cabinets, making it believable, seeing that infinite space going back so where we ended up going was we built a stadium so everything would sort of come up and you could have the cabinets going back as far as they can go."
Gee explained that in concept work, they had cabinets going back for nine kilometers with tiny cabinets still visible to give a sense of just how big the CG-created space would be. And as for the ceiling, they ultimately went for just a plain, fluorescent-lit look that ended up working very well.
"We thought, 'oh I'm not sure how that's going to look,'" Gee said. "We sort of balked at it to start with, but it worked perfectly because you have these vanishing points of the panels and the ceiling, and you got real perspective looking back into that as well as with the lights going back in space. It worked really well but was a concept that we went through quite a few rounds to trying and crack it. But eventually we got there. The actual expanding of the cabinets going in as well, that was a concept which we didn't have an idea what it would look like. And we played with that, cabinets coming in and out, dropping from the ceiling as well. But in the end, it all ended up working out quite well."
The first season of Peacemaker is now streaming on HBO Max.