Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible tells the real life story of a family vacationing in Thailand at the time of the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26th, 2004. With a mix of practical, miniature and digital effects, the filmmakers strove to accurately depict the harrowing events of that day.
The first visual effects challenge was to re-create the initial wave of destruction as it hits the resort the family are relaxing in. “The key idea always was to be realistic, to be very close to the 2004 tsunami in Thailand,” says visual effects supervisor Felix Berges. “We had a lot visual references of the particular area of the real story and these were our references all the time.”
Surrounding the area are pools, bungalows, palm trees, umbrellas and all sorts of other objects. To show the tsunami wreaking havoc on all of these structures, a combination of full scale, miniature and scaled water effects were employed.
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