VFXShow 279: Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One is a 2023 Japanese kaiju film directed, written, and with visual effects supervision by Takashi Yamazaki. The film is set in postwar Japan and deals with the back story and emergence of Godzilla. Produced by Toho Studios and Robot Communications, it is the 37th film in the Godzilla franchise, and Toho’s 33rd Godzilla film. The film stars Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Sakura Ando and Kuranosuke Sasaki.

In the film, Godzilla is seen in extreme closeups, especially in the train sequence, and Godzilla is fully digitally created so the model needed a high degree of texturing and detailing. The Director started with the story he wanted but was aware of the budget constraints. As the visual effects started being finished, he was so pleased with the results, especially with the fluid sims and general water work, that the final act was expanded regarding the visuals in the ocean. The water sequences were challenging not only in terms of sims but also the compositing as many of the actors’ shots were shot at sea, with all the instability that mandates. The VFX was done primarily in Maya, Houdini, and composited in Nuke.

The film has a total of 610 shots, which were done by a small team of 35 artists in Japan who worked for approximately eight months on the film. But the shot count is slightly misleading as the shots were quite long, and those 610 shots account for about two-thirds of the film.

To save money to build key props such as the Jet seen in the third act, the producers found a buyer willing to buy the plane after production, which funded the building of the key ‘prototype’ jet seen in the film.

Godzilla Minus One is in the running for the Oscar bake-off for this year’s Academy Awards.

Thanks for listening and joining us. The panelists are:

  • Matt Wallin *     @mattwallin               www.mattwallin.com.
  • Jason Diamond  @jasondiamond           www.thediamondbros.com
  • Mike Seymour   @mikeseymour.               www.fxguide.com. + @mikeseymour
          • Follow Mike on Mastodon: @[email protected]
          • note : This is Mike’s 999th Podcast on fxguide !
  • Special thanks to Matt Wallin for the editing & production of the show with help from Jim Shen.

As Jason points out in the podcast, – in some ways, Godzilla Minus One is a thematic bookend to Oppenheimer. Listen to the show and judge for yourself.

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