How Shang-Chi Shot The Underwater Scene Of The Final Battle

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has made the right amount of impact in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie featured a lot of things that are quite special considering it belongs to the solo venture movies in the franchise. It features some of the most beautiful effects with scenes that do give us an insight into what we might also expect in the future projects of the franchise. It gave us a look at a rendition of the Mandarin that is actually quite mature and takes into consideration how a live-action depiction of the character should be like. We got a chance to witness a whole new world that was not explored before in the MCU. Let’s take a look at some of the BTS moments that have revealed how Shang-Chi shot the underwater scene of the final battle.


Marvel has often been very good at nailing the VFX for the projects in MCU. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings featured some of the most epic moments including the battle sequences featuring two giant monsters fighting out with each other. These sequences do require some moments that the actors have to shoot in front of blue screens which are later composed to create the VFX moments. This is quite a special achievement for this movie considering it featured some of the most mystical creatures and especially the Ten Rings itself.


How Shang-Chi Shot The Underwater Scene

The VFX Supervisor Christopher Townsend for the movie talked about how the underwater scenes were executed. According to him.

One of the great things about this particular dragon is that we’ve got characters actually riding it. Because of that, we had to build a buck, and we went to our visual effects company who was working on the dragon. We then asked them to create a simplified version of just the head portion and a small portion of the body that people were able to hold on to and sit on, and sort of interact with.


How Shang-Chi Shot The Underwater Scene

He also added,

So putting this whole piece onto a gimble so that it rotates and spins, and moves and tilts and everything. And then we photographed our  actors sitting on this thing with wind and sometimes rain to imply that they were going through water. And then we added big camera moves, trying to emulate the sense that they were flying. It’s very challenging to try and make that stuff look real, but I think you know it’s an incredibly fun challenge.


How Shang-Chi Shot The Underwater Scene

It was quite challenging to put a dragon into the city of Ta Lo. Here’s what he had to say about that :

The challenge, particularly once we’d actually got this photograph, was then putting that into our world of Ta Lo which is where the dragon exists in this sort of mythical place. We also have to figure out where the camera is in relation to the body of the dragon, and then tracking the dragon, so the dragon now has a CG dragon, and then, on top of the real world camera that we have, we then add additional camera movements and we then start building our  CG world around that, and start putting in all other action beats.


Below you can take a look that the VFX breakdown that was used to work on the mystical character of Morris for the movie.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a script written by David Callaham, Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, and Tony Leung.

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