The “making of” is just as amazing as the finished product.
It says something that, as computer-generated effects become more sophisticated, that practical effects are becoming even more commonly used and looking even more remarkable in recent blockbuster films. JJ Abrams took Star Wars back to physical sets and spacecraft (The Force Awakens); Christopher Nolan flipped real trucks (The Dark Knight), hallways (Inception) and fifth dimensions (Interstellar); and Denis Villeneuve built miniature sets (Blade Runner 2049).
What’s even more interesting is when practical effects are used not to make the fantastic feel tangible, but to bend the real into the surreal. Apartment walls can stretch, coffee tables can twist and turn, living rooms can dance in time with human emotions. The new ad for Apple HomePod features a collaboration between director Spike Jonze, musical artist FKA Twigs, and musical artist Andersoon .Paak. The end result is breathtaking, and the behind-the-scenes is fascinating.
“It’s literally so many moving parts.”
As a bonus treat, we also get a peek into the process in the making-of video, which reveals a bunch of interesting things: many of the visual effects are practical (manually-operated, specially-built sets); just how many collaborators it takes to choreograph a dance that literally moves walls; and how each department’s creativity contributes to a single, fluid expression in the final film.
Side note: almost as amazing as the finished product is that, even as accomplished a performer as she is, FKA Twigs still had to audition for this. But hey: we get to actually see some audition footage (via FaceTime, no less). So one lesson in this might be: stars sometimes still have to earn the gig, like anyone else.