Creating A-Team Mayhem
"There are a couple of shots where we have a full-CG stunt double coming out of the sewer and magnetically attaching himself to the underside of the convoy truck. They fight the baddies on the truck and a big fire fight ensues and they're being chased by the limo with the gun hanging out it. The tunnel is full-CG and mixes with the Vista backgrounds because the original tunnel didn't work as planned.
"The truck crashes through some barricades that are CG and into the river. They shot a real truck crashing into the water in Vancouver and we added the cargo container and two digi doubles of Face [Bradley Cooper] and Hannibal [Liam Neeson] hanging on the outside the container. When it impacts the water, the airbags inflate and the cargo container floats, which is all-CG as well. We had to rotoscope the truck and extract that because it was the only usable part from the plate and then we recreated a concrete embankment. The plane shoots up the limo and it explodes, requiring more CG destruction and pyrotechnics, including a digi-double for the gunner collapsed bridge and broken up road.
"We had one shot of the container hitting the water but the perspective was from underwater, so we had to do some water simulation bubbles and the airbags impacting. It was a tricky balance to find the storytelling point, which was to find the airbags going off vs. the clarity of the water and the realism of that."
Prime Focus created particle-driven tracer fire, CG rockets, missiles and residual smoke. A number of aftermath elements were also generated, including water impact and rock debris CG simulations. Another sequence required the creation of a fully digital Bell 205 helicopter to replace the practical element in several shots. Prime Focus designed the helicopter to appear completely photo real. A fully rigged digi-double of B. A. Baracus (Quinton Jackson) was also inserted into this sequence along with rigged digi-doubles of other A-Team members. Matte paintings and synthetic skies completed the scene where practical photography would have been too challenging to capture.
In one scene, Prime Focus was supposed to feature a single missile bound ended up creating 16 more. That's The A-Team for you.
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.