Warriors of Future has over 1,900 CGI shots as the Hong Kong science fiction movie impresses fans with its VFX set pieces.
The more content from around the world that is made available to stream on Netflix, the better; especially from the growing film markets of Asia. Thankfully, Netflix has just expanded its library of Asian content with the highly anticipated Hong Kong science fiction movie, Warriors of Future – released for OTT streaming on December 2.
Whilst neither the storyline nor acting performances will blow you away, the outstanding VFX demonstrates just how important this next step forward is for both Hong Kong productions and for Western investors viewing modern blockbusters from the region.
In fact, producer and lead actor Louis Koo has now revealed that over 1,900 CGI shots feature in Warriors of Future and that they even had to animate certain sections so that the actors understood what was going to be going on around them.
Warriors of Future needed to reinvent the VFX wheel
The Warriors of Future movie had a budget of approximately $56 million and a significant proportion of that had to be spent on VFX since the science-fiction action flick featured countless CGI shots.
In fact, producer and lead actor Louis Koo has since revealed that the team spent a year on the CGI elements before filming even started, adding how they needed to develop their own technologies instead of relying on foreign expertise.
“Instead of relying on foreign expertise, we wanted to do everything ourselves, not just the story but also the computer-generated imagery (CGI). We spent a year on CGI work before we started shooting, and are so eager to show the world that our CGI techniques are top level and of an international standard.” – Louis Koo, via Netflix Media Center.
Koo would then explain how “by producing such a high-quality blockbuster, we are opening a new window for Asian motion pictures in the future.” The 52-year-old would then share that, “we spent three to four years working on the script, and I wanted the fast-paced rhythm of the plot to propel the storytelling.”
Incredibly, Warriors of Future has over 1,900 CGI shots in the movie, but as post-production required a significant amount of legwork, the team actually storyboarded certain VFX scenes as animated shorts so that the actors could picture them better.
“This movie has over 1,900 CGI shots. For example, there is a battle scene that takes place on an elevated highway that is entirely CGI. We actually looked at all such highways in Hong Kong, but we couldn’t find one that was long enough for the needs of the scene.” – Louis Koo, via Netflix Media Center.
“We wanted the actors to understand how the sequence would look after all the effects were put in, so we created an animated version of it to show them so they could picture it better,” Koo said.
The good news is that Koo would also reveal that a prequel movie to Warriors of Future was in early development – see for more information here.
Whilst Warriors of Future experienced a mixed reaction from critics, the VFX and visual spectacle of the movie was a consistent point of praise.
“Special effects aficionados can probably breathe a sigh of relief upon seeing the wall-to-wall dystopian visual details – which occasionally merge with Hong Kong landmarks – in Warriors of Future, the directing debut of visual effects veteran Ng Yuen-fai.” – South China Morning Post.
LeisureByte notes how “In terms of CGI, it is quite impressive in places but in the fight sequences, it’s a blink-and-miss kind of situation. The actions are pretty quick and often indistinguishable to realise who is hitting whom.”
“Warriors of Future ended up being more than a one-off theatrical experience, but an actual showreel of future CGI-driven Hong Kong films to come. Computer effects aside, seeing Hong Kong actors in mech suits battling robots was an eye-opening spectacle in itself. Finally, when the credits rolled, everybody intuitively stayed in their seats and waited for the mid-credits scene like a Marvel movie. It all felt very communal.” – Fan review, via IMDB.
By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]