Why Mission: Impossible is the Cure for the Common Green Screen | NowThis Nerd


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to name an action franchise with more memorable stunts than ‘Mission: Impossible.’ Over the last 22 years, it’s become one of the most dependably entertaining properties in Hollywood, and a huge part of that is Tom Cruise’s dedication to death-defying practical stunts. They’re a breath of fresh air in today’s CG-saturated market, and today, I want to talk about how the series’ spectacular stunts set it apart from its blockbuster brethren. I’m Andrew, and this is Why Mission Impossible is the Cure for the Common Green Screen. From scaling the world’s tallest skyscraper, to dangling off the side of an A400 Airbus, Every entry in the series has a signature setpiece that makes you stop and ask, as we did, how the hell is Tom Cruise still alive? And for ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout,’ they’ve upped the ante with five Phenomenal Feats all performed by the star himself, with a bare minimum of CGI. You guys remember ‘Infinity War,’ right? Great movie! But I didn’t exactly walk away thinking ‘man, Robert Downey Jr. really put it all on the line.’ I mean, he barely even put on a costume, unless you count the sweatpants he wore for 90% of the film. Tony Stark is tired. There’s no doubt RDJ and the entire MCU crew works hard for the money, but compared to what Tom Cruise went through for ‘Fallout,’ they might as well be Skyping in to the set. Cruise has a rep for suffering for his art, and made headlines worldwide after he shattered his ankle jumping across a London rooftop for the film. But beyond bruises, Cruise also invests in a ton of specialized training. For one thing, he not only learned to fly a helicopter, he performed a ludicrous inverted flip, inside a narrow canyon that pilots with decades of experience wouldn’t dream of. It takes three months of eight hour days to become a novice helicopter pilot. Tom needed to work around the clock to reach the level of skill the sequence needs. There are very few students that have his level of dedication and focus. And since he was all alone in the cockpit, he not only had to fly the damn thing, he also had to run the camera and, oh yeah, act. Most performers would stop there and call it a career, but Cruise also spent four weeks skydiving up to eight times a
day to hone his skills for the high altitude, low open leap, in the same movie. As the first actor to perform a HALO jump, This is one for the history books. The world’s first HALO jump. Cruise leaped from a plane moving 160 miles per hour at 25,000 feet in the air, and he was just one cog in a much larger machine. The best cogs have dual movements. Cogs that fit, cooperate by design! The aerial photographer had to perform the same complex choreography, only with a 20 pound IMAX camera strapped to his helmet. On top of that, HALO jumpers wear military oxygen masks so they don’t suffocate at that insane altitude, but they didn’t want to cover up Tom Cruise’s million dollar mug
after spending weeks throwing him out of a plane to prepare, We’ve been doing five jumps a day out of the Twin Otter,
then in afternoons we do three C17 jumps. It’s challenging! so the studio had to build a special helmet from scratch that could
showcase his famous face and keep him alive at the same time. That’s a whole lot of effort, when they could have just strapped Tom Cruise in a bright green room and blasted him with fans. But the result is a sequence that is extremely sophisticated behind the scenes, and elegantly simple on screen, it almost makes you forget they threw Tom Cruise out of a plane. Practical stunts like this used to be the norm in action movies, but at a certain point, Hollywood either got scared, or they got lazy. Let’s talk about What We Lose With CGI Now, don’t get me wrong, green screen has some very real benefits. For one thing, it’s a lot less risky. Stunt performers put their lives on the line for a fraction of the fortune and none of the fame, He’s good, right? Sometimes I let him do the wide shots when I feel like getting blazed back in my Winnie. but CG provides a safer, albeit sterile, alternative. Green screen also lets filmmakers capture the action in a controlled environment, where they can finesse the scene over multiple takes
without having to reset expensive destruction. And, yes, green screen allows movies to up the ante when it comes to spectacle, I mean, let’s face it, the Hulk has come a long way from Lou Ferrigno, and today’s cosmic superhero movies just wouldn’t be possible without
an army of computers rendering the gods and monsters on screen. And fractals. Check out our VFX videos! But can you think of any segment in a Marvel or DC movie that made you wonder ‘how the hell did they do that?’ The action in ‘Ragnarok’ and ‘Black Panther’ is a gorgeous feast for the eyes, and we believe in it because we’ve become invested in these characters over ten years, That’s how it feels! I’m just a huge fan. but on their own, I haven’t seen anything that compares to the truck flip scene from ‘The Dark Knight,’ or the grand theft airplane from ‘Rises.’ That’s because it was real. Christopher Nolan brought a level of verisimilitude to his movies that made the action feel raw and authentic, well, aside from the fight choreography. …and YOU betrayed us! But it gave his movies a sense of danger and realism that modern superhero films can’t measure up to, and even they can’t touch the intensity of ‘Mission: Impossible.’ When you see Tom Cruise dangling off a helicopter 2,000 feet in the sky, your brain know he’s in a safety harness, but your gut thinks it’s real, and when he falls 40 feet and bounces off the cargo it’s carrying, you can’t help but gasp. GASP. We walk into movie theaters wanting to suspend our disbelief, and it’s a whole lot easier without imaginary
cameras, impossible physics, and unconvincing CGI. After years of gratuitous green screen, we’re finally seeing a renewed appreciation for Old School Action Dangerous stunts are as old cinema itself, I mean, Buster Keaton was just inches away from
being squashed by a 2-ton building in 1928. By the way, if this is your first time hearing about Keaton, I highly suggest you look into him. He’s a fantastic filmmaker that did amazing stunts all by himself, and
they’re some of the best stunts ever committed to film, in the ’20s! Movie magic evolved along with the medium, but until CGI, there really wasn’t a convincing way to fake this kind of stuff. And, as action movies solidified into a genre in the ‘70s and ‘80s, practical stunts became the star of the show, especially car chases. Ask anyone about the plot of 1968’s ‘Bullitt,’ and you’d probably draw a blank. But its car chase through the streets of San Francisco is one of cinema’s most impressive feats. It took three weeks to film the ten-minute scene, but it laid the groundwork for a generation of stunt spectacles. From ‘The French Connection’s’ equally elaborate chase, through streets that the production never actually shut down, to James Bond’s demolition derby through Paris, and the unbelievable bus jump in ‘Speed.’ Okay, so the gap was added in digitally, but they
legit jumped a specially modified bus over 100 feet! Speaking of Paris, Cruise and company engineered an extremely impressive motorcycle chase through the Arc de Triomphe for ‘Fallout.’ The crew were only able to shut down the heavily-populated
tourist site for an hour and fifteen minutes, and if you’ve ever worked on a
production, that’s not a lot of time. And inside that time they had to choreograph seventy stunt cars, get all the shots they needed, and not get their star killed. At one point, Cruise’s safety rig wasn’t working correctly, but they couldn’t spare a second to fix it. He just said ‘put the camera out there,’ and made the super-sharp turn at top speed without a helmet. Once again, they could have avoided all that effort with some goofy green screen, especially with machines that are less susceptible to the uncanny valley, but ‘Mission Impossible’ is keeping the practical tradition alive, and it’s not alone. ‘The Fast and the Furious’ series involves a surprising amount of practical stunts. They’re definitely not afraid to use CG, but they’re also catapulting real cars, smashing them with wrecking balls, and yes, dropping them out of an airplane. Stunts have gotten more expensive and elaborate, but that’s exactly what makes them so satisfying to watch. They’re The New Old School Look, the digital revolution has changed everything, from cinema to society itself, and there’s no walking that back. When CG first started making its way into action movies like the ‘Matrix’ trilogy, it was simply used to supplement reality, but soon filmmakers were using it to replace it entirely. The results have been mixed, and while there’s still some truly dazzling CGI out there, in recent years, there’s been a renewed appreciation for things done the old-fashioned way. We’re so inundated with special effects that they’ve lost the ‘special’ part of the equation, but the same way polaroids and vinyl records have made a comeback in the era of cloud storage, practical stunts have brought back value to a
practice that had become cheap and disposable. They’re tangible. They have a weight and gravity to them that you couldn’t fake with a million polygons. We might never see a return to the glory days of squibs and squealing tires, but as long as Tom Cruise is still breathing, the ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise will keep the death-defying dream of practical stunts alive. Over the last 22 years, Mission Impossible has become one of the most dependably entertaining properties in Hollywood, and a huge part of that is Tom Cruise’s dedication to death-defying practical stunts. Every entry in the series has a signature setpiece that makes you stop and ask, how the hell is Tom Cruise still alive? And for ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout,’ they’ve upped the ante with five phenomenal Feats all performed by the star himself, with a bare minimum of CGI. In our full video, we’ll show you Why Mission Impossible is the Cure for the Common Green Screen, Only on NowThis Nerd They’re a breath of fresh air in today’s CG-saturated market, and today, I want to talk about how the series’ spectacular stunts set it apart from its blockbuster brethren. CTA Thanks for watching, everybody, what are some of your favorite stunts in movie history? The one’s that really get the heart pumping and the adrelanine rushing? Do you have a favorite fight, a jump, a car chase, Or even a big ass explosion? LEave a comment, let us know please susbcribe to NTN, Because this video will self
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