‘G I Joe: Retaliation’ Interview With Effects Supervisor

G I Joe Retaliation interview with effects supervisor James Madigan

G I Joe: Retaliation‘s James Madigan gave an exclusive interview on the film’s visual effects.

G I Joe: Retaliation stars Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki, and Ray Park, and centers around a story of rebirth and redemption. Zartan, played by Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy), supposedly kills off the entire G I Joe team, save a few survivors who must investigate what went wrong and take down the identity-changing madman as well as threats within their own government.

James Madigan has been at the visual effects helm of such memorable films as The Da Vinci Code and Iron Man 2, and is currently at work on the sequel to the Bruce Willis hit RED.

ComingSoon.net sat down with James Madigan and asked him what is involved day-to-day in a movie like G I Joe: Retaliation. Madigan replied:

“It depends on what phase of filming we’re in. Other than the director, really, you’re kind of the only guy who is there through the whole thing. … Basically, there was a general feeling we wanted everything to have that was much more grounded in reality. … It’s very much a hands-on creation of trying to find different, exciting sequences and stuff like that. … From this shooting, it’s very much a matter of, quite often, having pieces here and there that all need to go together … [and] you’re kind of the only guy in the room who knows exactly how it’s going to work. There’s pieces of actors, but there’s also pieces of background. Pieces of elements. The lighting has to match and the lenses have to match. … Then, obviously, when you get in post, it’s a matter of putting it all together. In all three phases, you’re working very closely with the director. … You lay out a plan but, obviously, when you go to shoot, you find better things and different things. You find that some things work better in a different, more practical way.”

Jon Chu recently divulged in an interview that G I Joe: Retaliation is divided into two parts (Ninja and Military) that eventually come together. CS asked James Madigan how the two parts will differ, and the FX supervisor said the military story of it was the part that required a more detailed approach.

The ninjas, a major component of G I Joe in the ’80s, mostly involved a fight that takes place in the Himalayas. They actually had to shoot there for the sake of realism, requiring advice from a rock-climbing expert. Paul Borne was a stuntman who did that kind of thing for real, which was what they wanted. He worked in film and actually passed away this year. They really tried to come up with actions that are really based in reality. Paul Borne went from planning to setting up a real zipline where they could film Snake Eyes and Jinx.

What did you think of the interview with G I Joe: Retaliation‘s FX Supervisor James Madigan?