“Thor: Love and Thunder” was the first Marvel Cinematic Universe title to employ a new technology that makes it easier for actors to film scenes.
Called The Volume, it surrounds performers in a 360-degree digital environment rather than shooting them against a green or blue screen. Digital landscapes are about 90% completed at the time of shooting and then fine-tuned with live-action elements.
The film’s executive producer, Brian Chapek, said in a statement, “It allows you to create fully immersive worlds and to create a seamless effect between the real world and the digital world.”
Produced by Marvel Studios, a part of The Walt Disney Co., “Thor: Love and Thunder” was released in theaters the weekend of July 8, and brought in $144 million in domestic box office earnings for that period.
That figure represented the fourth highest domestic opening weekend of the pandemic era, as well as the third highest domestic opening weekend of 2022 to date, according to a release from Disney.
Developed by Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects division of Lucasfilm, also owned by Disney, The Volume has been used in several Disney Plus series, including “The Mandalorian” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
“Thor” star Chris Hemsworth, who also served as an executive producer, says The Volume made for an “incredible” filming experience.
“If you’re standing on the edge of a cliff looking out at a sunset, to actually be staring into a sunset certainly pulls out emotions and reactions that you may not get using a blue or green screen,” Hemsworth said in a statement. “It’s visually stunning because you get the actual reflection off the background, a nice orange glow on your skin from the sun.”
Tessa Thompson, who plays King Valkyrie, found that The Volume provided creative freedom because one didn’t have to imagine what they were seeing.
“You’re looking at it, and it’s beautiful,” Thompson said in a statement. “The way that it cast light onto our faces and costumes felt really immersive and otherworldly.”
The director of photography on the film, Baz Idoine, had previous exposure to The Volume from his time working on “The Mandalorian,” the Disney release said.
Idoine worked with Jake Morrison, visual effects supervisor/second unit director, to perfect the film’s sweeping digital sets.
Morrison said that The Volume helped in the creation of massive sets, including Omnipotence City, the home of the gods.
“When all the actors were in The Volume, they were able to see this incredibly expansive world,” Morrison said in a statement.