After WandaVision took fans on a microscopic trip through grief, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier returned right to big-screen Marvel fare. From the first teaser on, the Marvel Studios show teased high-octane fights and wall-to-wall action. One of the moments shown in most trailers and subsequent marketing involved the show's eponymous duo fighting with the Flag-Smashers aboard two semi-trailers barreling down the highway.
As you might expect, much of the fight was built with CGI, from the trucks themselves and the environment they raced through down to the characters fighting on top of the trailers. Sébastien Francoeur and his team at Rodeo FX ended up working on the sequence, doing nearly 180 shots for the one scene. As Francoeur tells us, they built a highway around eight kilometers long and started building an actual environment around that.
Also included on the team at Rodeo FX is producer Graeme Marshall, who laid out the process step by step.
"Our CG supervisor, Loïc Beguel, and our layout team mathematically worked out if a truck was going at 90 miles an hour and this is how long the sequence is, this is how long we need to build," Marshall says. "And that was with the information we passed on to our environments team who built, like Seb said, a nine-kilometer by a five-kilometer wide piece of practical forest with mountain and terrain undulation and everything and that's where we placed our CG trucks in."
Marshall adds that a lot of the actual fighting was done on-set, but the Rodeo team had to fill in during certain instances.
"Some of the shots were fully CG as well, but we were definitely led by the choreography. And this is where the contextual review we were talking about before actually really came into play," he explains. "Making sure that whatever was shot on set made sense with the stuff we were doing in CG and led into the stuff that was then back into plain photography. But they definitely didn't drive down a freeway 90 miles an hour with Anthony Mackie on top of it, let me tell you."
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