A recent trend in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is to tap directors who have focused on small, personal stories to helm their biggest properties, often to resounding success. Making the leap to a big-budget film might seem like a risk to those outside the industry, but visual effects supervisor Theo Bialek recently detailed to Screen Rant the ways in which Marvel Studios takes its directors through a "crash course" of visual effects to help bring their story to life.
"That responsibility mostly fell on Janek Sirrs who helped kinda guide [Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts]," Bialek explained of Spider-Man: Homecoming's final act. "Obviously, Janek has an enormous amount of experience on Marvel films and visual effects in general. One of the tools that we do is you break down some of the techniques that go into it and the different disciplines that go into it – all the aspects of it. So they get kind of a crash course on how you do these shots."
One integral component of learning the ins and outs of visual effects is how long these sequences take to create as compared to shooting a traditional scene.
"They also quickly learn that in the art of visual effects that everything goes by in an exponential curve," Bialek pointed out. "You don’t really see a linear progress on a film – for visual
Watts is far from the only Marvel director to not be experienced with visual effects, as Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi and Captain America: Civil War's Joe and Anthony Russo also got their start in low-budget filmmaking.
Having previously worked on The Amazing Spider-Man, Bialek also noted the differences between Disney and Sony's visual effects process.
“The only real difference that in the previous Spider-Mans, Sony had been a primary vendor doing the bulk of the shots – 2000 shots or something," Bialek pointed out. "This film, the way [Marvel] like to operate is they like to split it up between multiple vendors and allows you to kind of work on things more spread out, more sequences all at the same time. They have more people working on it and it also allows for a much shorter production cycle. So that was different; working on a smaller amount but over a much shorter amount of time. So probably the same amount of stress, but just get a feel
Spider-Man: Homecoming is out now on Blu-ray,