Paul Lambert Interview: ‘First Man’ visual effects supervisor

“First Man” visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert is nominated for an Oscar for his work on Damien Chazelle‘s docudrama, but the director “wasn’t really interested in trying to reimagine” the Gemini and Apollo missions that led up to the moon landing. Lambert explains that what Chazelle wanted was to “recreate that imagery” for modern audiences. Watch our exclusive video interview with Lambert above.

In telling the true story of Neil Armstrong‘s historic lunar adventure, Lambert and his team used “different techniques to try and get the most believable image possible.” Those techniques ran “the entire gamut” of effects strategies, from “using a full-sized [space] craft, to using archival footage, to using miniatures, to using all C.G.”

But from the very beginning Chazelle was “adamant that he didn’t want the visual effects to take you out of the movie,” Lambert says. “He wasn’t really interested in doing any blue screen or green screen.” Instead, “he always wanted to ground all the photography in something real.”

Lambert won an Oscar just last year on his very first nomination for his work on Denis Villeneuve‘s “Blade Runner 2049” (2017). Before that he was nominated at the Emmys for the limited series “Cleopatra” in 1999 and “The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns” in 2000. Next he’s reuniting with Villeneuve for the highly anticipated new adaptation of “Dune,” but he can’t talk about it because if he did, he jokes, he “probably won’t be on it anymore.”

His current Oscar nom is one of four “First Man” received overall. It also competes for Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.

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UPLOADED Feb 15, 2019 1:40 pm