'Ghostbusters' Reboot Used Practical Drones for Ghost VFX


Ghosts aren’t real (probably — but it turns out some of the spooky special effects in the new Ghostbusters reboot were more practical than digital.

It doesn’t look like the new Ghostbusters reboot franchise will work out as well as Sony had hoped, but new behind the scenes video shows how director Paul Feig and co. tried to make it work. The Australian VFX firm Iloura just released a visual effects reel to show off how it brought the spooky specters of the new movie to life. For one, they used drones, lit up with LEDs, as stand-ins for future floating specters.

They get an A for effort, and part of that good grade lies with the work done by Australian VFX company Iloura, the folks responsible the CGI and design work for an impressive variety of movies and TV shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Max: Fury Road, Ted, The Great Gatsby, and now Ghostbusters.

At worst, the ghost designs for the reboot were retreads of the kind of overly cartoony ghouls seen in those live action Scooby Doo movies. At best, the weird demons complemented the kind of colorful, off-the-cuff comedy that stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones brought to the film.

Check out the VFX reel below:

Designs aside, the video shows off some of the ways Feig shot practical effects on-set that Iloura then enhanced with digital animation to blend everything together in the final shots.

Between the green box used to create the otherworldly green hues of the ghost rats running out of the subway, or the blue neon lights attached to the actors in some of the crowd shots, it’s obvious that Ghostbusters is full of clever practical effects masked by the gorgeous CG work. The most fascinating of the bunch is the green drone used during the metal show sequence that was painted out in post production and swapped with the dragon demon ghost. It must have been the perfect stand-in to keep everyone’s eye-lines the same during such a complex scene.

Hopefully we’ll get to see more behind the scenes stuff when Ghostbusters hits home video and VOD. Nothing is announced as of yet, but sadly it’ll probably be the last new Ghostbusters movie we’ll get to see in a long time.

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