Christopher Nolan blew up real 747 jet in 'Tenet' instead of opting for CGI, calls it 'impulse-buying'

"We started to run the numbers... It became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform this sequence for real in-camera," Nolan said


                            Christopher Nolan blew up real 747 jet in 'Tenet' instead of opting for CGI, calls it 'impulse-buying'
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Although not much is known about the plot of Christopher Nolan's upcoming movie, 'Tenet,' except the fact that it is on track to become one of the first major summer blockbuster releases since the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of innumerable movie theaters across the country, he recently created quite a buzz when he revealed that his crew had blown up a  real 747 airplane for the sake of making the movie seem authentic. 

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Directors in the past have often chosen to go that extra mile when it comes to bringing a realistic appearance in their movies. But when it has involved an airplane, the effort has mostly been confined to upping the budget for fine-tuning the CGI work in the movie. However, Nolan, with acclaimed movies like 'The Dark Knight,' 'Inception', and 'Dunkirk' to his name, is currently boasting of having purchased a plane just to destroy it. 

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Speaking to Total Film, the director said that he hadn't originally planned to blow up the airplane for the sake of shooting a big scene in his movie. “I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest,” Nolan said. He changed his mind after his team came across a massive array of old planes while scouting for locations in Victorville, California. "We started to run the numbers... It became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform this sequence for real in-camera, rather than build miniatures or go the CG route," he added. 

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This bizarre bit of information about the major stunt in the movie involving the destruction of a 747 in an airport hanger could become a top-selling point as it will be risky timing the release of the film when he is, as there are multiple states still observing a partial to complete lockdown due. Nolan said that although it was a spur-of-the-moment purchase, he did not regret it. “It’s a strange thing to talk about – a kind of impulse buying, I suppose," he said. "But we kind of did, and it worked very well, with Scott Fisher, our special-effects supervisor, and Nathan Crowley, the production designer, figuring out how to pull off this big sequence in camera. It was a very exciting thing to be a part of.”

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Nolan has famously been known to reject CGI as far as possible in the past. He was known to painstakingly construct a rotating hallway in order to shoot a fight scene for 'Inception,' despite the fact that he had the option of going for special effects and wires. 

Robert Pattinson, who co-stars in 'Tenet' told Total Film that he was also stunned to learn about practical effects instead of a special effect that was going to be used for the movie. “You wouldn’t have thought there was any reality where you would be doing a scene where they just have an actual 747 to blow up! It’s so bold to the point of ridiculousness... I remember, as we were shooting it, I was thinking, ‘How many more times is this even going to be happening in a film at all?'" he said. 

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