WATCH: Guillermo del Toro explains the hardest scene to film in The Shape of Water

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Sep 3, 2019, 8:26 AM EDT (Updated)

Horror master and monster movie fanatic Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water is one of the most talked about films of the season, with critical acclaim and awards buzz stemming from the filmmaker's attention to detail.


Along with the gorgeous production design that hearkened back to the early '60s, the film has garnered special notice for the look of the Creature from the Black Lagoon-style monster played by Doug Jones. Known as only the Fish Man, the creature is an incredible specimen, built from a full-body cast and embossed with intricate designs by sculptor Mike Hill.

However, when asked by SYFY WIRE which scene was hardest to capture, del Toro didn't mention any outdoor set piece or special effect involving the Fish Man. Instead, it was a very natural scene with Elisa, played by star Sally Hawkins.

"There is a moment in which [Elisa] disrobes, on which we spent an inordinate of time," del Toro explained. "This is a movie that had a tight schedule, a tight budget, $19.5 million with a scope of $60-70 million, and we spent almost half a day on that single shot, We had to make sure that before she does that, the light bounces and she's kept a little in the dark... we had to light and lens and position the camera, and move the camera in exactly the position I needed it, because that's where the movie hinges."

In the video above, del Toro goes further into explaining how they made that scene work, the twisted fairytale story behind The Shape of Water, and much more.

Additional material by Jeff Spry.