GODZILLA VS. KONG: Bryan Hirota On How JAWS Inspired The VFX Of The Kaiju Fight At Sea (Exclusive)

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Scanline VFX about their contributions to Godzilla Vs. Kong. While chatting with Bryan Hirota, we learned more about how Jaws inspired the underwater scenes!

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After a long stint without any major blockbuster films, the wait for Godzilla Vs. Kong finally came to an end last month, and fans have been able to experience the latest MonsterVerse movie on both big and small screens in theaters and on HBO Max.

GVK features an insane amount of intense Kaiju action, with battles taking place on land and at sea.

When we had the opportunity to sit down with Scanline VFX's Bryan Hirota (The Suicide Squad, Zack Snyder's Justice League), we were sure to ask about those epic Kaiju encounters, and learn more about the process of creating them. First, we wanted to learn exactly what VFX work Bryan had a hand in.

"We made the Pensacola attack at the beginning of the movie when you see Godzilla. There were a few shots in that sequence when you're inside APEX's headquarters where Luma did the interior where you saw Mecha's eye. But the exterior, when Bernie is looking down, looks past the eye, and you see Godzilla in the distance; we did the stuff with Godzilla in that Pensacola attack. We did all of the stuff at sea where Kong was being transported. So when you see him sleeping on the transport ship and when Jia visited visits Kong at night, and when Godzilla shows up and wrecks the fleet and attacks Kong. 

And then the stuff inside the APEX arena where Mecha Godzilla was being tested out on the Skull Crawler and when Mecha becomes sentient. When it gets charged with the genetic energy, it becomes sentient, kills Simmons, busts out, and when Mecha fights against Godzilla and Kong, and when Kong tears Mechas head off. And when Godzilla swims away. That was all our body of work."

Knowing that Bryan and Scanline had a huge hand in the sea battle, we asked him to clarify previous comments from the director that those scenes were Jaws-inspired.

"I think some of that is the design of the action beats. I think specifically what Adam was referring to was when Godzilla was dragging half a ship. In Jaws, they stuck a barrel into his back so that they could sort of keep track of where he was. That idea of dragging half a boat, I think it was clearly inspired by that, but it's taken to the ridiculous end with the scale of Godzilla. Like dragging half a boat. Adam wanted to see these shots of Godzilla swimming underwater and swimming under the surface, the ones where that camera's in front of him, which, I think those might be Jaws-like as well. And we were inspired by the Galapagos sea iguanas. Them and alligators and crocodiles in terms of how somebody with Godzilla's physiology might move through the water."

What did you guys think of the visual effects for the water scenes, and the film in general? Leave your thoughts on Bryan's comments in the usual spot, and be sure to check out the full interview below!

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