George Miller Reveals How Many Visual Effects Are in Furiosa

Everyone knows the magic of George Miller is his practical effects. The Max Max filmmaker loves to do actual stunts and capture them in-camera, and the results are masterful. But what maybe not everyone knows is that Miller’s films, in particular Mad Max: Fury Road and the new Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, have a ton of visual effects. Like, a lot. More than you can possibly imagine. He just doesn’t use them only in obvious ways.

Spoilers of the Week: August 12th

In Fury Road, in [Furiosa], there are hardly any shots that haven’t been manipulated digitally,” Miller told io9. “For instance, changing the sky. When Steven Spielberg shot Jaws, the sea was changing all the time. If you look at that film one moment it’s choppy, one moment it’s flat. You don’t need to do that anymore.”

So basically every shot in both Fury Road and Furiosa has some kind of digital changes to it. But, for the most part, it’s subtle stuff. The Furiosa scene Miller pointed to was “The Stowaway,” one of the film’s middle chapters and also its longest, most sprawling action sequence. In it, Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy) tries to escape the Citadel but instead finds herself in an epic battle versus a group of Wasteland pirates.

“When you’re doing extended sequences like ‘The Stowaway’ sequence, that was shot over 78 days. It’s a 15-minute sequence but the skies are consistent,” Miller said. “So we took what we thought was a good sky and we can reproduce that sky right through the story. So some shots have the real sky because the real sky looked really good. But in the next shot, it might have been where it was a completely different sky so we were able to match that. You can do that.”

The film clearly has other digital effects too but Miller is mostly a fan of the ones that are invisible and keep everything smooth and cohesive. It’s a huge game-changer. “If you were shooting Jaws again today, the sea would be consistent,” He said. “Even meticulous filmmakers, guys like David Lean when they shot Lawrence of Arabia—obsessively, meticulous with their camera and lighting and so on—you can see where they shot different times of day and so on. You can avoid it now to some degree. It’s a much smoother experience.”

‘It’s Visual Music’ Director George Miller on His Filmmaking Style

‘It’s Visual Music’ Director George Miller on His Filmmaking Style

Visually, Furiosa might be a smooth experience but the experience overall is anything but, in the best possible way. It’s now in theaters.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.