The most impressive use of CGI is the use that you don’t even notice. A behind the scenes video reveals that BLACK SWAN is full of that kind of CGI.

Making of featurettes are so boring these days. It’s all guys sitting behind computers animating stuff that is obviously animated. There’s no sense of magic anymore, no feeling of wonder. When you watch the behind the scenes footage on most blockbusters you don’t feel like the curtain is being pulled back - while watching the finished film it’s obvious the actors are all talking to ping pong balls on sticks.

Which is why this visual effects demo for Black Swan is so fascinating. First of all, I didn’t know the film was so full of VFX. Second of all, I like the very subtle ways in which CGI is used; it’s more amazing for me to see the tiny manipulations of reality than the creation of a giant monster or an alien landscape. Suddenly a floor is clean or a film crew is removed from a shot - that’s sort of magic. And best of all many of the CGI effects that are exposed in this video don’t feel like CGI even after you know they are.

Be aware that if you haven’t seen Black Swan there are some spoilers in here.