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Scene Stealer: 'Hancock's' pavement abuse

July 9, 2008 |  5:03 pm


According to Ken Hahn, digital effects supervisor for Will Smith's superhero movie "Hancock," director Peter Berg wanted  the character's takeoffs and landings to be huge -- not just a wisp of air, but giant explosions of dust and debris. "There wasn't any place where [he] said, 'This is too much, you should rein it back.' " Luckily for the pavement of Los Angeles, most of these effects were done entirely on the computer. But for Hancock's rough landing on Hollywood Boulevard, a few physical elements were incorporated. The art department built a kind of artificial riser to elevate the street slightly so that they could then dig out a Smith-sized divot and decorate it with chunks of concrete. Not all the physical effects worked out, however. "Special effects had rigged glass to break out of some of those cars and do denting," says Hahn. "The problem was the timing on one of the cars didn't quite work out. It broke too soon. So we erased it and duplicated the effect digitally."

--Patrick Kevin Day

(Photo courtesy Columbia Pictures)