Spectre VFX: Here’s how MPC used digital effects to make Bond's latest adventure feel real

Despite using a lot of real stunts, Spectre relied on some artful VFX from MPC to make crashes and chases seem even more exciting.

From sequences in the Austrian Alps to the Moroccan desert, MPC created 300 explosive VFX shots for Spectre. While Bond films generally use more real-world stunts, props and locations than most big-budget action flicks – MPC's skills were needed to hide supporting equipment and add clouds of snow and smoke and raging fires to up the tension even further.

Heading the project were MPC VFX supervisor Mark Curtis, producer Laura Schultz and production xFX Supervisor Steve Begg, who oversaw the visual effects for the whole film. 

We take a look at some of their iconic creations for the 24th Bond adventure.

MPC truly brought Bond hunting a villian through the snowy alps to life - instead of relying solely on a CG plane, MPC built a real plane based on the Britten-Norman Islander and dragged it through the forest via wires, wheels and skis.

For the wings to be torn off, the team incorporated a full CG version of the aircraft. They also created snow clouds billowing from the propellers, a wake of snow from the its sliding belly and smoke and fire from its straining engines.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, the real plane then smashed through a real barn. Even for Bond, a lot went into that stunt. 

Image: before (top), after (bottom) 

On top of switching between the real and CG planes, production VFX supervisor Steve Begg told AWN that a major challenge for MPC was the shiny plane reflecting the studio and crew when shooting close-ups on a VFX stage.

MPC managed to wrap a CG fuselage around it and reflect a model of the moving alpine scenery onto its body instead.

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For the mountaintop lair, MPC took inspiration from the glassy, cubist Ice-Q in Solden, Austria. Expanding and reconfiguring the original gave it a larger, more ominous cross shape, which perched atop a CG restructured mountain peak - how fitting for a Bond villain.

Image: before (top), after (bottom) 

The reflections of the panoramic mountain views in the glass created beautiful but tough work, with MPC having to build a model of the surrounding peaks.

Image: before (top), after (bottom)