Unlike sci-fi movies where it's CGI or nothing, there's not much in The Wolf of Wall Street that can't exist in the real world. You probably could do it all traditionally. But with CGI as good as it is now, it's just easier—and cheaper—to do it the fake way. Just look at The Great Gatsby. This fantastic reel from Brainstorm Digital lays it all down from you, and bares some of the most surprising illusions.
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So to say it can all be done practically is not exactly right. Shots like the lion in the office would be impossible, to have some many people in close proximity with tons of things going would not have been possible.
Many of those locations do exist but to find all the aesthetics that make up a lot of those scenes would have been impossible. Or build enough fake house that stretch out to the horizon.
I love VFX that is used this, purposeful and thoughtful with both money management in mind but also getting the directors true vision across.
One thing I wish gizmodo would do is write a story on how FX artist have been getting screwed for years. How the artist are asked to work 20 hr days with no overtime or benefits to speak of at all. How movies like LIFE of PI can win an oscar and then the people who worked on didnt get paid and were out of a job after many of them had moved there families across the country? Sorry but it would be nice to praise this hard working artist and also make sure they get there fair shake.
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