Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’ Imagines Gritty Future

Futuristic tale combines CG with slum

Neill Blomkamp’s eagerly awaited “Elysium” looks to be the sort of sci-fi story that falls right in the helmer’s wheelhouse. A man takes a dangerous mission that might save millions in a dystopian future where the wealthy live on a space station while the poor live on the ravaged Earth below.

Assistant visual effects supervisor Andrew Chapman believes the pic’s combination of real and CGI imagery will make an impact.

“We used a slum in Mexico as the location shoot for a rundown Earth and then added on to what we had,” says Chapman. “The perfect world inhabited by the rich was also beautiful and strange at the same time.”

Chapman believes drawing from real places also gave the film an authenticity it might not have had otherwise. Though it made the cast and crew feel awful to be in a difficult location, the performances took on a kind of grit.

This combined with Blomkamp’s vision made creating vfx for the film a dream journey.

“He’s so articulate in what he asks you to do that it’s almost easy,” says Chapman.

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