Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea succeeded brilliantly for a number of reasons -- namely, Casey Affleck’s Oscar-winning performance. But even beyond Affleck, the film was packed with nuanced performances from three-dimensional characters working off of Lonergan’s script, which also won on Oscar night. The compelling work of Lucas Hedges and Michelle Williams also earned them Oscar nominations.
Lonergan’s stark, no-frills directorial style gave the characters breathing room and allowed them to really chew the scenery throughout Manchester by the Sea. But did you know that said scenery was actually “created” through the work of Manchester by the Sea’s brilliant special effects team? Ask the jokesters at Funny or Die and they’ll tell you that the film may have deserved an Oscar for the effects alone.
Funny or Die posted a new video to its YouTube channel on Monday, which you can watch above. Imploring viewers to “Witness the VFX mastery” that breathed life into Manchester by the Sea, the video gets more and more absurd as it goes along. First up is a look at one of several boat scenes in the film, showcasing the “work” of the complex motion-simulating apparatus and green screen that made the scenes a reality.
The first clip almost looks convincing, but it only gets more ridiculous from there. There's a clip showing how the crew “transformed” an old man into an old woman and created her apartment entirely out of green screen, “adding” the shot of Affleck fixing a light bulb in post-production. They did the same with actors Kyle Chandler and Tom Kemp in an impressively detailed “rendering” of a police station hallway. And as if those clips didn’t drive home strongly enough how fake these “special effects” were, the next clip shows how they superimposed Affleck’s face over Vin Diesel’s to create a shot of the actor simply driving his car.
The video provides some much-welcome levity to what is mostly a mournful, visceral film. But Manchester by the Sea does include a surprising amount of humor, mostly in the interplay between Affleck and Hedges’ characters. If nothing else, the Funny or Die video offers an amusingly absurdist take on Lonergan’s film that serves to underline the real triumphs of its acting, directing, and writing.
Believe it or not, there were at least 10 people credited with special and visual effects work on Manchester by the Sea, despite it being a bare-bones drama produced for about $8.5 million. At the very least, the film made use of color correction, which Funny or Die also "highlighted." A parody video like this could potentially take away from the actual visual work that went into Manchester by the Sea, however subtle it may have been. But the surreal absurdity of it all should ultimately bring a smile to the face of anyone who saw the film.
Source: Funny or Die
- Manchester by the Sea (2016) release date: Nov 18, 2016