Shazam Zachary Levi and David F. Sandberg
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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Shazam! director uses comic book film to explain how you save the day from villainous problems on the set

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Jul 6, 2019

In a brand-new video essay, director David. F. Sandberg uses Shazam! as an example of how you solve problems in the movie-making business. Bottom line: Any cinematic undertaking presents a unique set of challenges for every single frame of the story.

The Lights Out helmer presents two scenes from his recent (and successful) comic book film to answer certain questions like "What if crew members get caught in a shot and it's too late to digitally remove them?" or "How do you film a group scene when one of your principal cast members is busy working on another project?"

For example, a bunch of production members ended up in the background of the sequence where Shazam (Zachary Levi) runs away from Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong) in the mall. The gaffe was discovered too late in the post-production process, which meant a VFX team had to improvise by pasting bags and a mop in front of them, effectively turning these nonchalant bystanders into customers and janitorial staff.

Check out the breakdown below:

Sandberg, who pricelessly parodies Cinema Sins, devotes even more time to the scene where Billy Batson (Asher Angel) runs away from his foster home. While this moment in Act III may look seamless, several problems arose from two major factors: the actors' costumes and the absence of Faithe Herman (Darla, the youngest member of Billy's foster family), who was working on another project at the time.

Much of the emotional lead-up to Sivana's kidnapping of the kids was born from necessity rather than intention, and it's fascinating to learn how it all came together in the end. It's similar to why the shark is hidden throughout most of Jaws. The script, storyboards, or your own intuition may call for one thing, but the obstacles of reality may force you to go in an entirely new direction, even if it may defy basic logic.

Shazam! is now available to purchase and stream on digital platforms. Physical copies of the film (Blu-ray, DVD, etc.) go on sale everywhere Tuesday, July 16. Find out what SYFY WIRE learned from the director's commentary and special features right here.


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