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Interview: Bringing the Visual Effects of ‘Eternals’ to Life With Matt Aitken

The Awards Buzz on Chloé Zhao‘s Eternals, regarding its staggering visual effects, is only beginning. Just last week, the film was nominated at the Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards for Best Visual Effects, and it won’t be a surprise when it’ll be (rightfully) nominated at the Critics Choice Awards and the Academy Awards fairly soon.

It’s Marvel’s most dazzling film yet, from a purely visual standpoint, and I was very lucky to have talked to Academy Award-nominated VFX Supervisor Matt Aitken from Weta Digital, who helped craft the film’s epic final battle on the beach, in which the emergence of the celestial Tiamut begins.

During the interview, we talked about the following:

  • Crafting visual effects that fits with Chloé Zhao’s naturalistic style, and the challenges that arose in making an MCU climax in location as opposed to the usual green-screen-driven sets.
  • Designing the Eternals’ cosmic energy, particularly emphazising on what differentiates them from other Marvel (and DC) superheroes. We here mention the parallels that can be made with Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Superman, for example.
  • The process of designing the deviants, most notably Kro (Bill Skarsgard) and how Skarsgard’s on-set performance influenced its design.
  • The process of crafting action sequences through pre-visualization, and how it can impact the filmmaking process, especially when most of it is shot on location.

You can listen to the entire conversation below and see Eternals in theatres now or wait for its Disney+ release next month!

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Written by Maxance Vincent

Maxance Vincent is a freelance film and TV critic, and a recent graduate of a BFA in Film Studies at the Université de Montréal. He is currently finishing a specialization in Video Game Studies, focusing on the psychological effects regarding the critical discourse on violent video games.

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