Dune: how were the ornithopter scenes shot?

Dune: how were the ornithopter scenes shot?


Dune's special effects supervisor Paul Lambert explained how the scenes with the ornithopterans were made. Within the Dune saga, ornithoptera are the flying means used to move around the planet of Arrakis, characterized by a system of movable wings reminiscent of those of insects. In the new transposition of the famous Frank Herbert saga, Denis Villeneuve wanted to faithfully recreate these means, contrary to what David Lynch did in 1984.

This is how the ornithopter scenes in Dune were shot

In the Villeneuve Dune we were able to appreciate a particular care in the realization of the typical vehicles of the saga, including the Reapers for the spice harvest, but it is the realization of these flying vehicles that has caught the favor of the public. Now, Paul Lambert, explained how the scenes with the ornithopterans were made, speaking during an event linked to the Oscars, where the special effects artist explained how CGI was to support the use of more concrete visual effects. looking for a realism that could best involve the spectators:

“It was essential to have a realistic look for the ornithopter sequences. Denis had explained to me from the beginning how he wanted everything to look like a photo of the real world, he absolutely did not want the public to lose interest at any point in the story. Obviously we were creating spaceships and flying ships, so our approach was to do remote shooting, not getting too close to the ornithopters, we shot the scenes from helicopter to helicopter, also shooting take-offs and landings with real helicopters to which we then have then replaced the ornithopterans. We also built two real twelve-ton ornithopters, which we made a point of using as much as possible for the shoot, and then adding CGI wings. While there are times when it's all done in CGI, they're still made based on real footage. The idea was to try to keep everything as realistic as possible "

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Dune: Part Two Director Denis Villeneuve Calls Sequel 'Biggest Challenge of His Career'

Dune director Denis Villeneuve is preparing for his biggest challenge: the sequel. Dune is up for 10 Academy Awards at Sunday's Oscars event, including Best Picture and Best Score (composer Hans Zimmer recently performed a selection live). Speaking to ET Canada, Villeneuve (whose name was conspicuously absent from the list of Best Director nominees) says prep for Dune: Part Two has already begun. He'll be back to work on it the following Monday after the Oscars. 

'It's gonna be intense,' Villeneuve said during an event celebrating Canadian Oscar nominees. 'I'm in prep right now. Monday morning, as soon as we leave Los Angeles, it will be to start to go on with prep.

'I cannot say nothing about the movie – I don't like to talk about projects as I am doing them – but it's probably going to be the biggest challenge of my career, again, because it's even more complex than Part One.'

Dune: Part Two will cover the second half of Frank Herbert's iconic 1965 sci-fi novel. Villeneuve previously confirmed that the sequel's script is complete. Rumor has it that Austin Butler is up for the role of antagonist Feyd-Rautha. Another says Florence Pugh is up for a part, which Villeneuve acknowledged vaguely in the past. Villeneuve has also stated that Zendaya will have a more substantial role in the sequel. Zendaya plays Chani, one of the Freman people native to Arrakis with whom Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a reluctant messiah, falls in love.

'For Zendaya, I will say Part One was a promise. I know that we saw a glimpse of her in Part One, but in Part Two, she'll have a prominent part. We will follow Timothée and Zendaya on their adventures in the desert. That's the thing that excited me most about going back to Arrakis is to spend time with those characters again,' Villeneuve told Variety.

Dune: Part Two may not be the end of Dune in cinemas. Rumors suggest Villeneuve may make a third Dune movie adapting Herbert's first sequel novel, Dune Messiah, concluding Paul and Chani's story. There's a spinoff series, Dune: The Sisterhood, in the works for HBO Max.

'It's going to be another beautiful journey in the desert again,' Villeneuve said while speaking about the sequel at the PGA Awards. 'It's the journey where Paul Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica, make contact with the Fremen culture and meet with the Fremen. It's Paul's journey against the enemy ... It's a movie that will be more cinematic.'

Dune: Part Two opens in theaters on October 20th, 2023. The Oscars air on Sunday on ABC.

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