The Practical Effects of Ghost in the Shell

Do you know what the first thought I had was when watching the trailer for Ghost in the Shell? Maybe you don’t want to know, but just indulge me. I thought about how far CGI has come. Just looking at those horrific robot geisha characters going all arachnid and scuttling up the walls, it is so impressive. And despite any concerns I had about the finished product I knew that visually I was sold on the film. So I was delighted to find out that the effects that wowed me so much weren’t so great because they represented the next leap in computer generated effects. No sir. It was because they are the next level of practical effects.

Weta workshop has created some of their most astonishing work yet for Ghost in the Shell, with director Rupert Sanders aiming to fill as many of his shots with real things as possible. That means CEO of Weta and all round cinematic legend Richard Taylor, has gone to town in terms of both effort and innovation to deliver such unique creations.

Take a look at the videos below, posted by another lover of all things practical, Adam Savage, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at how the team at Weta made all this happen. It’s truly mind-blowing stuff, and proves that the technology for practical effects is moving forward just as much as that of its CGI counterparts.

What truly makes the difference in delivering the very best, is not whether practical effects or computer effects are used, but how much the people doing the work care about what they create. You only have to listen to Richard Taylor speak about his work for a minute or two to realise he is deeply in love with his craft, and that for him to be the best means study, hard graft, and continually lighting a fire under his own arse. It’s a lesson for anyone the world over. And it’s why Weta are the best.

James is a movie obsessive with a particular love for scores and screenplays. He has written for numerous blogs, sites and cinemas and has been involved in several screenwriting projects. He can usually be found in front of a large plasma screen devouring Westerns, 80s pulp, Jimmy Stewart movies or anything by the Coens.