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Real Steel

Director: Shawn Levy

Visual Effects Supervisor: Erik Nash

"Real Steel" is a visual spectacle of massive boxer robots competing in the ring. Those boxing matches were conceived, planned and executed using an innovative process that gave the filmmakers unprecedented creative freedom and efficiency as virtual production was taken out of the studio and into real-world settings. Director Shawn Levy wanted the boxing matches between eight-foot tall CG robots to feel truly visceral and natural, so he called on Digital Domain and Visual Effects Supervisor Erik Nash to make it so. The team designed a virtual production workflow that allowed Levy to direct CG characters as if they were actually present in the boxing rings on set where background plates were shot. The CG character created from those sessions were placed in virtual environments that matched the actual Detroit location, for use within the Simul-Cam system made famous on Avatar. This process enabled Levy and Director of Photography Mauro Fiore to "see" fighting robots on the Simul-Cam monitor during principal photography in Detroit, and follow the action as they shot each robot fight. The CG action was always organically framed with camera moves that felt real because they were captured at real locations.