World War Z

Based on the book WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks, the film follows United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) in a race against time to stop a zombie pandemic from toppling armies and governments.

One of the most dramatic sequences in the film is the opening, where Gerry is stuck in a Philadelphia traffic jam with his family. Zombies launch a terrifying attack and Gerry struggles to escape.

The whole sequence was actually filmed in Glasgow, using extensive reference photographs from buildings in and around Philadelphia, taken with HDRi cameras. These photographs were projected digitally onto geometry. The buildings were placed in layouts in Nuke and fitted into the original Glasgow plates.

In another exciting sequence later in the film, Gerry is on the roof of a New Jersey housing project being chased by zombies. Original photography was filmed entirely against greenscreen; the rooftop and helicopter were the only real builds. There are actually no tower like housing projects in New Jersey, so the team created their own. The buildings in the fore to mid ground are made up from reference filmed at a housing project in Harlem, projected onto geometry. Beyond this are tower-blocks from the Lower East Side and furthest from the camera is downtown New Jersey. This more distant background is taken from a large 360 degree panorama stitched together.

The elements were all brought together into Nuke, where the environment was laid out, textured, panoramas set up, sun flares and other atmospheric effects added.

  • Release date: 21.06.2013
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Director: Marc Foster
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Pre & Post Comparison

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On the edge
Streets
Helicopter