Free Fire, a new film coming soon from indie movie darling A24, takes place mostly in a deserted warehouse as rivaling factions get caught up in a shootout. To make the film work, director Ben Wheatley needed to carefully plan the use of the space he was working with. He told Yahoo Movies about a novel way he and his team approached their preparation.
“We did a lot of storyboards for the film and it’s a very complicated movie, but it wasn’t enough,” Wheatley told our Khail Anonymous. “I was looking at these boards and going, ‘You can draw them any old way,’ and they cheat, basically, and thought, ‘What I need to do, basically, is walk inside the space.”
Many films have made use of previsualization, where scenes are rendered out in rough animation as a guide for filmmakers. But that can be costly, so Wheatley went a different route. “I thought, well, I’m not going to pay any money for this, I’ll just do it in Minecraft,” he said, referring to the popular video game. “And so I built the whole set in Minecraft and walked around it, because this film is very specific about movements.
“It was actually on a public server for ages because we bought a service,” he continued. “We were all over the country when we were putting the prep [together] for the movie. Laurie Rose, the [director of photography], and Paki Smith, the designer, we’d dial in and we’d all stand inside the space and walk around it and talk on our phones about where stuff should be. We stopped paying for the service, so it’s down now, but I could put it back up.”
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