'Tenet' has less CGI than most romantic-comedies

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·2-min read
Christopher Nolan reveals that Tenet has less than 300 VFX shots (Image by Warner Bros)
Christopher Nolan reveals that Tenet has less than 300 VFX shots (Image by Warner Bros)

Now that it looks as though Tenet will actually be released into cinemas, at least in Great Britain, audiences can finally start to anticipate the spectacle that Christopher Nolan is going to deliver.

It turns out that most of the action scenes that Nolan has created for Tenet, though, were actually done practically and without visual effects. So much so that Nolan recently told this month’s edition of ICG Magazine that Tenet has less VFX shots than most romantic comedies.

“The visual side of the film is huge in scale. But our VFX shot count is probably lower than most romantic comedies,” he explained.

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Editor Jennifer Lame went even further, revealing that Tenet actually has less than 300 visual effects shots in the entire movie. To put that in comparison, Avengers: Endgame had over 2,000 visual effects shots.

(L-r) JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON and director/writer/producer CHRISTOPHER NOLAN on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ action epic "TENET," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.  (Warner Bros.)
(L-r) JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON and director/writer/producer CHRISTOPHER NOLAN on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ action epic "TENET," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Warner Bros.)

Nolan said that it was up to visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson to come up with the “safety net” for Tenet, before explaining, “We wanted it all in-camera, but if it couldn’t be done, what choices are there in post-production?”

“I like to say, Andrew kind of bid himself out of a job because he helped us achieve such an enormous amount practically. There were still very complicated visual effects for the team at Double Negative, but Andrew’s expertise and background in on-set effects benefitted us enormously.”

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It wasn’t just Jackson that Nolan heaped praise on, though. The Interstellar and Dark Knight director also lauded his collaboration with director of photographer Hoyte van Hoytema, saying, “The director/DP relationship is at least as important as the one I establish with a lead actor. The greatest DPs help you find a storytelling balance between creative exploration and practical execution.”

We’ll get to see the results of their collaboration when Tenet is hopefully released in cinemas on 26 August.

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