Following the divisive events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff reconnects threads of her pre-Avengers life in the Marvel Studios solo film Black Widow. The Third Floor supported the filmmakers from pre-production through post in visualizing ambitious action, shooting approaches and uniquely intense action sequences.
The Third Floor London produced previs and techvis as several notable scenes were designed. For the Budapest Chase, artists worked with stunt and shooting units to develop beats and gags, also informing logistics and setups that would be needed for filming on location.
“Almost all major sequences had a techvis pass, where we worked with key departments to help plan camera positions, motion control setups, bluescreen placements and digital stand-ins,” said Brett Grisham, Production Manager from The Third Floor. “Time of day studies also helped production see the impact of sun and shadows in advance. Using these techniques, it was possible to determine which shots they wanted to accomplish on location, which shots to film on sets and what methodology they would use.”
For the Goulag prison break and avalanche, multiple iterations of the scene were explored and sequenced to capture the desired timing, humor and tone. Shooting logistics were also visualized through techvis.
A particularly demanding scene was the Descent sequence, in which Natasha makes a dazzling escape by diving off a tower. The action was visualized extensively to outline the key beats and pacing the show team had in mind.
“We collaborated across multiple departments to help design cinematic shots and shooting approaches,” Grisham remarked. “The mission from VFX Supervisor, Geoff Baumann was to have a third act sequence that was really dynamic but had a realistic feel to the free fall and skydiving. For this to be achieved, we needed to establish the height of the platform and use that to determine the amount of time everyone would have to fall and move through the planned mid-air fight beats.”
Following principal photography and plate shots, work continued at The Third Floor Los Angeles as the film team continued to visualize key visual effects scenes in postvis.
The Third Floor Previs (Top Left), The Third Floor Postvis (Top Right), Plate (Bottom Left), Final Shot by VFX (Bottom Right) Courtesy of MARVEL