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Focus on the big picture

Watch an Underwater Brawl in ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ | Anatomy of a Scene

NYT, 02 Apr 2021
Godzilla enters the scene with a splash in this high-energy moment from the latest in the MonsterVerse franchise.

Kong is being transported from Skull Island by ship and has an ocean encounter with a very agitated Godzilla. Some of the action in the sequence borrows from “Jaws” and “Die Hard” alike, and the director Adam Wingard said he wanted to lean into the spectacle.

“This is why you do these movies,” he says, narrating the sequence. “When you get to these moments, it’s all worth it because it’s basically like playing with C.G.I. toys.”

But it’s not all just visual-effects theatrics. The action moves back and forth between what’s happening with the humans on the ship and what’s unfolding in the water with the creatures. Wingard wanted to parallel specific movements to provide a sense of grounding. So he cut from a shot of Godzilla swimming to one of the characters, Nathan (Alexander Skarsgard), doing the same, or a close-up of Kong roaring to one of Nathan yelling.

“It’s like you’re dealing with characters that are 6 foot and below, and 300 feet and above,” he said, “so how do you link them up? You try to find these little visual cues that subconsciously tie the two worlds in together.”

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