Godzilla vs Kong marks director Adam Wingard's biggest movie to date, but just because he was working on a blockbuster, he didn't forget his indie roots.
The movie centres on an epic clash between Godzilla and King Kong who, for obvious reasons, couldn't be on set with the other actors. So when it came to filming the titanic battles, Wingard used something he developed on Blair Witch to get the required reactions.
"A lot of the time, actors are just working off of a green screen or there's nothing there. I would say that nine out of ten times we were just using a laser pointer to give them their eyeline. You can be accurate with that," he told Digital Spy.
"I tried to use sound effects that were available as well. If I needed a violent reaction from the cast, we had a PA system. Sometimes I would pump sounds in. We had, actually, some monster roars and explosion sounds and stuff that I could pump into there and get quick reactions.
"That was something, actually, I learned about on Blair Witch. On that movie, I used to always have an airhorn on hand. I called it my 'scare' horn. If I needed a big jolt from an actor, I'd give them a little buzz with that thing, and it was really effective. So this was like the big monster version of that."
Godzilla vs Kong is the culmination of the first arc of the MonsterVerse which has set up the two titans in their own movies, before bringing them together on screen for the first time since 1962's King Kong vs Godzilla.
But even though it's a direct continuation of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Wingard was allowed to let the movie stand on its own and not worry too much about linking back to the previous movies.
"I think what's nice about Legendary and the MonsterVerse is that they hire directors, I think, because they want that sort of auteur blockbuster vibe. They want each film to feel uniquely different than the last," he explained.
"With that said, you know, these are still sequels, technically. We have Millie Bobby Brown, and we have her dad and everybody coming back [from King of the Monsters]. So there's those kind of considerations of just carrying it over. But at the end of the day, we're also trying to make a movie that stands alone.
"That's a big challenge when you're setting up something that you want to be densely entertaining. You don't want to waste the audience's time at any point, but you also have to lay a little bit of groundwork. If you never saw King of the Monsters, this needs to also serve as an introduction to these characters in a way that doesn't feel weird.
"That's the kind of heavy lifting you have to do early on. But then once you get over that hump – I would say the 30-minute mark – the action kicks in, and you're just off to the races. It's a thrill ride from there."
Wingard also spoke to Digital Spy about the human storyline being the "biggest challenge" of Godzilla vs Kong.
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