This Free Guy Scene Took Over One Year to Make
One particular scene from Free Guy took so much time and so much computer power to make, that it ended up coming back to the filmmaker a year after it started. That would be (as you might expect) the opening shot of the film, which established the world of Free Guy in an almost instantaneous way. The shot of course follows a no-nonsense "hero" character who drops from the sky, has a car chase, and blows up innumerable foes as the opening credits roll.
The scope of the shot was so huge that not only did the film's VFX house work with Digital Domain on it, but Scanline VFX apparently also had some kind of input...even if it was just hearing war stories about it.
"It's just a big, big shot. That shot was 3000 frames," explained Swen Gillberg, VFX supervisor for Free Guy. "Your average shot is something like three seconds long, which is 75 frames. And so, 3000 versus 75. And then, that particular shot was made up of 10 different plates. We had plates of Pittsburgh, Boston. Two type of crane shots. We had a stunt vehicle to do 360 background plates. We had live action, Russian arm car chases. It was just made up of so many different pieces."
"And I can contest to how hard that shot was," Brian Grill, Scanline VFX supervisor, added. "Maybe there was a coordinator working with me who maybe had a boyfriend or fiance who was working with Nikos[Kalaitzidis, Digital Domain VFX supervisor]. And maybe, on some Zoom calls, in dailies, heard screaming and cursing in the background. But I can't tell you if it's true or not. But... you know."
You can see the first eight minutes of Free Guy below.
In Free Guy, a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story...one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way... before it is too late.
You can buy or rent Free Guy now on DVD, Blu-ray, and any digital video retailer of your choice.