Forrest Gump, Creating The Illusion

Cool fact, Bill Murray, John Travolta and Chevy Chase turned down the role of Forrest Gump. Travolta later admitted that passing on the role was a huge mistake on his part. Forrest Gump is a classic, Its well known for a lot memorable moments, but I will be focusing on these two effects in the film.

The 1st one is when Forrest Gump is digitally-composited with in historic events. They recreated that archival footage with the actor Forrest Gump. They combined their new work with the actual clip via CGI and clever editing. Finally they replaced the old mouth movements of John Lennon so he appears to be saying the new dialogue. All of this is taking care of during post production.

2nd of all, I will discuss how the removal of Vietnam vet Lieutenant Dan Taylor lower legs was created. For the leg scene in the movie, blue stockings were worn up to the point at which the amputation occurs.

How did they make Lieutenant Dan look like he has no legs?

Lieutenant Dan lower legs was wrapped in a special blue fabric that allowed them to be optically removed from the film by computer later. The filmic effect of virtually erasing his legs was accomplished in a variety of ways: in the editing room, with computer assistance and with props, including a specially designed wheelchair, during the shooting of the film.

For scenes on the boat where he falls out of the wheelchair or leaps into the ocean, they took a hunk out of the side of the boat, so he could move his legs where no one else could (see), then used a computer to reinstate that part of the boat. There is this open slot where he moves his legs and we see the stumps, and the pant legs were folded under just right. Then they  went back and created the shadows passing over the cutout area.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s first appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, which aired September 11, 1971.  They were the only guests on the show that evening and John wore a green army shirt that he explained was given to him by a Vietnam veteran. Yoko wore a strange and unflattering orange jump suit. But In the film Forrest Gump, Ono’s doesn’t exist because Forrest Gump took her place. We never saw that because Forrest replaced Yoko by the magic of digital effects.

The background was shot without the actor in it so that the computer could capture the entire scene unobstructed. Then with the actor in the scene, the computer inserted segments of it’s stored background image wherever the blue was, thus the actors legs were replaced with computer inserted scenery to make them appear invisible to us.

Original video

The movie version

 
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