Sunday, July 23, 2023

Filming Oppenheimer


Washington Post - "Inside Christopher Nolan’s 57-day race to shoot ‘Oppenheimer’"

"That one character detail was enough to help Nolan envision the world he might be able to create on-screen, as told through Oppenheimer’s eyes: one of sweeping desert vistas combined with an array of abstract special effects, again created without CGI, to illustrate an interior life of quantum physics and atoms and molecules. “That contrast is wonderfully cinematic,” says Nolan, who then set out to craft a story that he describes as part hero’s journey, part heist film and part courtroom drama, set against the imagery of a western — all presented in very Nolan-esque, nonlinear fashion.

The director knew he wanted to explore Oppenheimer’s rise to prominence — as well as his humiliating trial after the war, which resulted in the revocation of his security clearance due to his associations with communists. The part he was calling the “heist” section depicts the mad scramble for the world’s most brilliant minds to pull off the impossible project of building an atomic bomb before Adolf Hitler did.


They had just three months to get ready for a film that would shoot in just 57 days and run three hours, Nolan’s longest yet. “We’re not like other big films that prep for months and months and months,” says executive producer Thomas Hayslip. “Chris is of the mind that he and the crew need 12 weeks of prep and we’ll get it done in 12 weeks, and any more than that is just a waste of time.”


As the company began gathering in New Mexico to start filming at Ghost Ranch on Feb. 28, 2022, the paint was barely dry on the reconstructed town of Los Alamos. Construction had taken place in the dead of the high-desert winter, with the crew losing days of work because the ground was too frozen to dig into, or because snowfall had blocked the roads. Because of time constraints, the production team would have only six scheduled days at this $3 million set they’d spent three months building."

No comments: