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Have You Seen This? 'Mad Max' without CGI is wildly impressive

Posted September 15
Updated September 17

THE CITADEL — Yes, it is a little untimely to be talking about “Mad Max: Fury Road,” but some social and news rules are worth breaking for the right video.

This four-minute video of raw action footage from the film is worth it.

A huge amount of the moving vehicle action in the film is not touched by CGI, as you’ll see in the video. (According to IMDb, 80 percent of the film is practical effects.) There are flamethrowers, crushed vehicles, realistic dummies and the brave souls who call themselves stunt men and women hanging precariously off vehicles as crashing cars and explosions abound.

CGI is a fact of life, in even nonaction films these days, but relying too heavily on computer animation for special effects doesn’t always produce a great visual experience. We’ve all been in a movie where poorly used CGI distracts viewers from an immersive movie experience.

The solve is not dumping all CGI in the garbage because of a few bad apples, of course. The solve is finding ways to include as many practical effects and makeup as possible then only enhancing it with special effects, which is exactly what director George Miller did. (I mean, it’s a cinch when you can hire a massive team of experts and you have $150 million of studio funds at your disposal. Am I right?)

It should go without saying, but remember that all those involved in filming these scenes are highly skilled professionals performing these stunts in highly planned and controlled environments, so please do not try anything even remotely resembling these stunts at home.

For some scene-to-scene comparison of before and after CGI, check out this video.

Martha Ostergar is the former Video Productions Manager of KSL.com. She has moved on to write elsewhere, but she can't seem to break her habit of cruising the internet for amazing videos and writing about them. Follow her on Twitter at @monstergar.

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