Dan Lemmon (‘The Batman’ visual effects supervisor): ‘The danger is, if you do your job right, people don’t actually know that you’ve done anything’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“Batman was always something I was into,” reveals visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon about “The Batman.” For our recent webchat he continues, “He’s in many ways the most relatable superhero. He’s the one’s most connected to the world that I understand. It was a dream project” Watch the full exclusive video interview above.

“The Batman” is a new iteration of the iconic caped crusader directed by Matt Reeves. In it, Batman solves riddles and uncovers corruption in Gotham City to foil a serial killer targeting politicians. Lemmon says, “Our director wanted this to be the most realistic and grounded Batman to date. It was about keeping it gritty and getting it back to the dark noir detective story. We wanted to make something that was different from a Marvel or some other DC movies, to keep it as familiar to our real world as possible. The danger is, if you do your job right, people don’t actually know that you’ve done anything.”

Lemmon explains, “One of the big things we did was, rather than shooting some of our sets on blue screen stages, we used LED walls. We built Gotham as a visual effects asset and loaded it onto these walls. It allowed us to put our characters and sets in front of a background that was giving real light. So rather than having blue screen reflecting, we had Gotham. When Batman and Selina are standing on the skyscraper at sunset, all the rich oranges and blues in the sky are reflecting off the puddles, costumes and faces. It lends a certain realism.”

The visual effects supervisor has been nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar. The nomination is shared with Russell Earl, Anders Langlands and Dominic Tuohy. Lemmon admits, “We knew it wasn’t necessarily the kind of film that would stand out as having a lot of visual effects. By design, we were trying to hide our hands as much as possible. There’s no spaceships and nothing magical. So to have our peers recognize the film as having effect wok worthy of a nomination is very special.”

Lemmon previously won an Oscar for his visual effects work on “The Jungle Book” (2016). Looking over his career, he reflects, “I like when films take risks. When visual effects can be a part of that, to tell a story that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tell, that’s a pretty amazing experience. Anytime you can be involved in something that allows a storyteller to do something new is amazing.”

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