‘Green Lantern’ Special-Effects Wiz Took ‘Artistic License’

Ryan Reynolds, director Martin Campbell and designer Neville Page explain creatures' creation to MTV News.

Nowadays, it seems moviegoers don’t see anything that isn’t at least partially CGI-enhanced — especially when talking about summer blockbusters and comic book movies. Not that we’re complaining. A movie like “Green Lantern,” which opened Friday (June 17), wouldn’t be possible without a heavy assist from computer-graphics specialists and visual-effects teams.

When MTV News caught up with the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds, director Martin Campbell and creature designer Neville Page at the premiere this week, we asked them about the challenges involved in acting and working with so many non-existing environments.

“I had pretty strong visual cues to work with,” Reynolds said. He explained that he was mostly working with actual people, actors who wore green-screen suits and were later replaced or enhanced with CGI in postproduction.

Campbell said that although a lot of the time the actors were playing off “tennis balls on C-stands,” they all learned to work from nothing. “You’re sitting in a blue cave for god knows how long, and after a while, it’s fine,” he said. “You sort of adjust to it, you get used to it like anything else, it becomes the norm.

Regarding the specifics of the film’s visual and CG-related feats, Page admitted that the alien characters, Tomar-Re and Kilowog (voiced by Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke Duncan), proved to be particularly difficult.

“As soon as I saw the comic book design of it … I thought, ‘How are we gonna get a chicken guy to work realistically next to Ryan Reynolds and not have people laugh?’ ” Page said of designing Tomar-Re.

“Kilowog was a similar character,” he added. “Obviously, we’re mindful — very mindful — of the fanbase and their expectation of what they are hoping to see,” he explained, mentioning details like body-part proportions and skin texture. “But at the same time, you have to take artistic license to bring these things to true, CG, cinematic life,” he said.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Green Lantern.”

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