In the first of a two-part feature, MI6 guest writer "Odd Job" takes a close look at how the computerised special effects and post-production wizardry helped create the teaser trailer and title credit sequences.

Part 1 focuses on the "Die Another Day" teaser trailer...

"Die Another Day"'s CGI Effects - Part 1
14th January 2003

Directed by Tim Webber, the teaser trailer for "Die Another Day" was released on May 16th 2002 - and was the first official glimpse of film footage.


The opening of the trailer begins with the moonlit snow dunes, which morph into silhouettes of naked woman. Once the women start to come into focus the screen freezes and becomes the now classic ice sculpted Walther PPK. As the weapon comes fully into shot - it's fired. The weapon then shatters as the fireball explodes and the camera pans with the bullet out, which flows into the new Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. The teaser trailer is comprised of 15 shoots in succession, and then we see the traditional opening sequences and further use of the ice Walther PPK and Bond girl to conclude the teaser.

The Technical CG Part

Tim Webber has worked on the first two Pierce Brosnan's 007 outings. The trailers are normally created in six weeks with any available completed footage and heavy CG work. The brief was given by MGM and EON Productions to Tim and his team, that the trailer should contain a girl and an ice gun. The six weeks were split into two 3 week halves - one for organisation and shooting, and the final 3 weeks for post production.

The Filming (Weeks 1-3)

The moonlit snow dunes where shot over one day using a single model and motion capture system. The filming took place using green screen at Shepperton Studios. The Walther PPK was created in both Perspex and in ice by Asylum. A motion control rig was used to film in turn the Perspex and melting ice for a glossy look. The Perspex gun was a near replica and thus had the correct firing chamber, which was used for the firing of the bullet. This was achieved though practical lighting effect and enhancements, which were to be carried out in, post production. Also shot were the two end sequences, the particles of ice and of the model blowing the smoke form the barrel of the Walther PPK.


A matte image of the bodies was created and then bought to life using the footage shot at Shepperton. The footage was a montage of 50 layers of the model in varying poses. The sky was a digitised doctored photograph of a daytime skyline, which was colour corrected and edited to place the moon over the sun. The 2 guns were combined to create a single image and the firing of the bullet was enhanced to create the fireball which leads to the shattering of the weapon. The end sequence was created using both traditional and CG elements - the ice block was filmed traditionally and the 007 logo was added in post with Adobe Photoshop. The shattering of the ice block was created in the 3D tool Maya. The last shot was enhanced to create a more icy feel and was composed of the footage recorded at Shepperton studio three weeks earlier.

Part two will look at the techniques used for the opening titles CG work.

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"Die Another Day"'s Special Effects - Part 2