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How visual effects shaped Free Guy’s GTA-inspired world

The line between digital creations and real-world experiences gets blurrier every day — particularly in Hollywood. Director Shawn Levy’s 2021 film Free Guy embraced that shrinking divide by following the adventures of Guy, a jovial character in a Grand Theft Auto-style multiplayer game who becomes self-aware and decides to become a hero and save his virtual world from deletion.

The film casts Ryan Reynolds as Guy, who embarks on a quest to level up by doing good deeds instead of engaging in the mindless destruction the game encourages. The film blends live-action characters and sets with a myriad of digital environments and overlays to make the wild world of Free City inhabited by Guy feel authentic while simultaneously retaining the no-limits experience the fictional game offers its players.

Tasked with maintaining that careful balance was Levy’s visual effects supervisor on the film, Swen Gillberg, who led a team of visual effects studios in designing and implementing a wide range of elements — from featured and supporting characters to physics-defying environments and a neon rainbow of in-game graphics. Among the studios contributing to the spectacular visual effects in Free Guy was Digital Domain, which previously worked with Marvel to bring Thanos to life in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The studio’s VFX supervisor on the film, Nikos Kalaitzidis, spoke to Digital Trends about his team’s work on the film.

This article is part of Oscar Effects – a five-part series that puts the spotlight on each of the five movies nominated for “Best Visual Effects,” at the 94th Academy Awards. The series explores the amazing tricks filmmakers and their effects teams used to make each of these films stand out as visual spectacles.

Read the full article here: https://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/free-guy-visual-effects-interview-vfx/