I’ve always said that when I grow up I want to live in a tree house. I’m really drawn to the idea of being raised high up off the ground in a home built among the trees, preferably with a natural spring or waterfall running nearby. Well, the Sky Tower in Tom Cruise’s latest movie, Oblivion has certainly given that idea a run for its money.
Universal Pictures have kindly released this short featurette showing how the production team created the background for the Sky Tower scenes, a multi-purpose home/office/military outpost which rests on a tiny spindle at 3000 feet. One would assume that blue screen technology was applied here but, as the video reveals, that is not the case…
Director Joseph Kosinski describes how they chose to take a more ‘organic’ approach and travelled to the Hawaiian Island of Maui to film on top of the Haleakalā Volcano. Using 3 cameras, they took footage of sky, cloud, sunrise, sunset, stars etc. and then front projected it onto a huge 360 degree screen back on set.
One of the advantages of this approach was that the crew were able to use the footage to light the set and actors, giving the scenes a much more natural look and feel. Production Designer Darren Gilford explains how using blue screen would have been a “virtual nightmare” as all the blue would have spilled onto the surfaces and glass on set.
I have to say the results are stunning and the idea of living amongst the clouds is very appealing, maybe I’ll start with my tree house and, as technology develops, slowly work my way up!