‘2012’ shakes up scene choices

Disaster sequences planned for bake-off

Volker Engel, visual effects supervisor & co-producer; Marc Weigert, visual effects supervisor & co-producer; Mike Vezina, special effects supervisor

In his presentation, Volker Engel will showcase the “incredible variety of natural disasters in extremely different landscapes.” Half the running time of 2012″ is vfx shots, and Engel and Marc Weigert will stress “it had to be photorealistic. It was not a made-up world. You almost had to smell (it).”

The earthquake sequence, for example, has to pass muster with Los Angeles denizens. “Everybody’s seen these streets, these buildings.”

The last third of the film has 1-miles-tall tsunamis, which break over the Himalayas. And he may include the movie’s most surreal image: helicopters ferrying giraffes and elephants over the mountains. “You can’t have a giraffe look like a stuffed animal hanging under the helicopter. The theory is they were sedated, but they still have to move.”