The film follows the events of a small American town over the course of a single day, as their town is hit with a devastating wave of tornadoes. Starring Richard Armitage in the lead role, the film is directed by Steven Quale, with Cinesite VFX supervision by Simon Stanley-Clamp.
See “Storm Chasers” in the July/August 2014 issue of CGW for an in-depth look at the fierce climax of this tornado-driven film delivered by Method Studios.
In Cinesite’s main sequence, a graduation ceremony is taking place on a cloudy, rainy day. Events take a sudden turn for the worse as tornado sirens warn the students and teachers of the devastation heading their way.
As the storm intensifies and the students seek shelter inside the school, debris builds up in the school corridor. While the students cower on the floor, debris blows forcefully overhead, posters rip off walls as more paper, dust and larger debris surge through the corridor. In the ensuing chaos, the ceiling, debris and lights fall, forecasting the annihilation to come. The corridor at the back end of the school is ripped away by the vortex, ascending the destructive path of the tornado.
“The most difficult part of the sequence was the integration of the ceiling of the corridor with the set, which had a partially collapsed practical ceiling which had to be reworked and replaced with our own CG ceiling and then animated to full destruction”, says Cinesite’s VFX Supervisor Simon Stanley-Clamp.