Raimi Talks Spider-Man 3 F/X

What effects will be used for the new villain(s)?
Now Playing magazine talked with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi earlier today, as well as his producing partner Rob Tapert, as the two are currently promoting the DVD release of the horror hit Boogeyman which comes from their Ghost House Pictures production company. Obviously during the course of the conversation Spider-Man 3 came up, and while Raimi remains silent on the plot points of the sequel, he did reveal what’s going on with the visual effects for Spidey's next journey. For instance, the director did confirm that the effects will be a combination of both practical and computer generated varieties, just as they were for Spider-Man 2’s Doc Ock.

“Absolutely, the new villain, the new powers [will be a mix],” Raimi says. “We’re shooting tests right now to determine what is best pulled off believably as a practical effect and what can’t be, what’s too dangerous, what is too unreasonable, and what looks better in CG.”

Raimi’s still not revealing which of Spidey’s villains will show up in the film; in fact, he says it’s so early in the process that a schedule hasn’t even been settled on yet for the shoot.

“We have different possibilities of different schedules and they’re being balanced with [each other],” he says. “If we start on a particular day, how many effects shots will we be able to shoot and for how long would we be able to work on them until delivery? If we start later, which is a little cheaper – not have everybody on so long – will it rush the effects too much? Will we have to have fewer effects? And at the same time, knowing we’ll have more money for those effects? So that’s the type of [things] that the producers, Grant Curtis, Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Joe Caracciolo, are juggling right now.”

Even though CG versions of New York City and Spider-Man already exist on hard drives somewhere from the first two films, Raimi prefers to more or less start from scratch with this movie when it comes to rendering the visuals.

“The problem is that, in my opinion, the demands of the audience for the quality of the effects rises every picture,” he explains. “So if were able to just say to ourselves, ‘You know what, the effects were good enough. Let’s use the database and go from there,’ it would be a tremendous amount easier. I could do a lot more shots a lot cheaper, but I don’t actually think that’s what the fans want me to do. They want to see, I believe – it’s always hard to know what other people want, but I’m trying to satisfy them and at the same time be true to myself – a finer quality of movement in Spider-Man, a more realistic looking Spider-Man, more of a sense that he exists in reality, in a real city. Although I can use a lot of the wireframes that have been built, the level of detail and the tools to achieve it and the textures and the overall ability of the end result, to improve it, we’ve got to move to the next stage of technology, which we’re doing. So I’m only able to use part of what we’ve created in the last two films. We could have used it all but I decided not to.”

“The process itself advances the technology,” he says. “We’re always trying to do things that haven’t been done before and we try to figure out ways to do them. And it’s through that process that the technology is advancing. I feel that’s what makes the process kind of exciting. And as John Dykstra says, you’ve got to imagine where the effects will be two or three years from now and actually try to raise the bar beyond that. That’s what you have to shoot for, and that is what we have done and are trying to do.”

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