Watch the King-Sized VFX Sizzle Reel for ‘Kong: Skull Island’
When I was younger, one of my favorite pastimes was seeking out the DVDs of my favorite movies with the best package of special features. I must’ve owned three or four different copies of Evil Dead over the years, with each new release or re-release featuring a brand new interview with the filmmakers, unseen behind-the-scenes footage, or a new featurette on the film’s enduring appear to fans. These days, absent the occasional Criterion Collection, Arrow Films, or Scream Factory release, my hunt for special features has mostly died out, but that’s only intensified my appreciation for VFX sizzle reels. It’s the one special feature I still find I get excited for.
Each sizzle reel is effectively the same: scenes from the movie set to a rocking soundtrack, reconstructed in real time as a series of composite images. The sizzle reel for Kong: Skull Island (via SyFy) is no different. In a matter of seconds, we see a shot go from stand-ins to basic 3D modeling to fully realized creatures and characters. And given the scope and scale of Kong: Skull Island, it’s not exactly a surprise to discover that some truly incredible VFX work went into the final product. From the Mad Max: Fury Road-esque approach to the island to the giant battle between Kong and the island’s lizard-monsters, each of the VFX sequences in the movie are deserving of praise, regardless of how you felt about the movie as a whole.
The YouTube post even notes that Kong: Skull Island represented the “most complex hair simulation” ever created by Industrial Light and Magic, which is one of those VFX things that’s just fun to hear. Every now and then, you a hear a studio say that they’ve worked harder on water or fire or snow than ever before, and it’s important to take a step back and appreciate the attention to detail that goes into that approach. Somewhere, someone is spending days/weeks/months focusing on just the way they model rain in a movie. That person deserves their moment in the sizzle reel spotlight.