“Some microscopic and tiny, some on a giant scale using explosives”: Christopher Nolan Went Total Mad Scientist With Oppenheimer Experiments

Christopher Nolan Went Total Mad Scientist With Oppenheimer Experiments
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The film that has gained significant hype over the months for a number of valid reasons is the J. Robert Oppenheimer biopic directed by Christopher Nolan titled, Oppenheimer. The director’s unwavering dedication to achieving an ‘authentic’ result instead of taking part in the AI-generated world like the rest, took the project to a whole new level. Therefore this exact factor led the director to do things the authentic way for the explosions in Oppenheimer as well. Portraying the story of one of the inventors of the atomic bomb isn’t quite easy, thus although his explosions weren’t nuclear or alarming, they were still very dangerous, to say the least.

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In his quest for searching what made the perfect mushroom cloud dragged him through various ”experimental methods”. Hence, in the latest issue of Empire Magazine, the director explained how he brought everything to life without the help of CGI.

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan

Also Read: Christopher Nolan’s $773 Million CGI Heavy Sci-Fi Movie Didn’t Use Green Screens: “It’s fun for me”

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Christopher Nolan Was “very experimental” on the Sets of Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan loves taking up new challenges, and his deliberate need for posing the very same for himself has been his favorite sport throughout the years. His absolute hatred for green screens and the need for avoiding CGIs for the majority of the part has led to some magnificent moments in the history of cinema. Similarly, this time around the director has yet again found the solution for the problem which initially seemed impossible to solve.

Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy on the sets of Oppenheimer
Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy on the sets of Oppenheimer

When Noaln revealed to the world that his upcoming World War II film, Oppenheimer achieved all of the nuclear explosion effects without CGI, the world went crazy. Consequently, the people were filled with a lot of questions thus, in the latest cover for Empire Magazine, the Mad Man himself revealed what went behind the scenes of the movie and how did he achieve that authentic look he wanted. To showcase the Trinity Test, the world’s first-ever atomic explosion, he explained the process that helped him bring everything to life,

“Some on a giant scale using explosives and magnesium flares and big, black powder explosions of petrol, whatever,–And them some absolutely tiny, using interactions of different particles, different oils, different liquids.”

Christopher Nolan wanted to keep the explosions authentic
Christopher Nolan wanted to keep the explosions authentic

Although he did not abandon the computer altogether, he used the best of both worlds to achieve the impossible. He continued saying,

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“But I knew that that was not going to achieve the sort of tactile, ragged, real nature of what I wanted … The goal was to have everything that appears in the film to be photographed. And have the computer used for what it’s best for, which is compositing, and putting ideas together; taking out things you don’t want; putting layers of things together.”

Thus, it is safe to say, a lot of experimentation went on behind the scenes to achieve the exact thing he wanted. He wanted the audience to feel how high the stakes were, the wrath, the fear. A lot of hard work went behind the project to make it come to life, and now that its release date is drawing closer fans cannot wait to experience the magic on IMAX screens.

Also Read: Matt Reeves Said The Batman 2 Will Not Repeat Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ Mistake: “Batman takes a backseat sort of character-wise”

Why did Christopher Nolan Want to Avoid Using CGI at All Costs?

Although not against it completely, he feels CGI oftentimes feels a bit animated and in turn, fails to capture the audience’s attention all the way. Nonetheless, his movie always ends up being a spectacle, leaving the viewers spellbound. For that, the director prefers going the extra step, for example, in his movie Tenet, he went to the extreme measure of blowing up an actual Boeing 747, flipped a truck for The Dark Knight, and for Inception he used large rotating hallways.

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And when he uses CGI, he makes sure to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure a realistic atmosphere. Thus in the same Empire interview, Nolan explained,

“I find CG rarely is able to grab you, it tends to feel safe. Even if it’s impressive and beautiful, it’s difficult to make you feel danger. And we were presenting the ultimate danger.  We needed it to feel threatening, nasty, and frightening to the audience”

A still from Oppenheimer
A still from Oppenheimer

The subject of the film in itself was very gritty, thus in order to make people technically live the experience for a few hours, he decided CGI won’t be able to capture the horror of the time the world seemed to collapse in itself. Thus, people now cannot wait to experience the project that Nolan and crew’s blood, sweat, tears, and a huge amount of gasoline, propane, and various other chemical powders have birthed.

The movie Oppenheimer will arrive on 21st June in the theatres.

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Also Read: “It was so violent”: Christopher Nolan Was Forced to Delete Sickening Death Scene From Christian Bale’s Batman Movie

Source: Empire Magazine

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Written by Sampurna Banerjee

Articles Published: 932

Sampurna Banerjee, an ardent enthusiast of pop culture and movies, pours her passion into her role as a writer for FandomWire. With a penchant for Marvel, DC, and sitcoms, she has contributed over 400 articles, staying up-to-date to the entertainment industry's latest buzz. Moreover, she's penned over 300 articles for Animated Times and shared her work across several Instagram pages. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calcutta University.