‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ Director David F. Sandberg Discusses the IMAX Experience & VFX Tricks


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On Wednesday, March 15, ahead of the broad release of the long-awaited DCEU sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Collider teamed up with IMAX, DC Studios, and Warner Bros. to supply followers an opportunity to see the film ahead of time within the cinema, how it was meant to be seen on the massive, huge screen! This exciting occasion was originally going to include a Q&A from director David F. Sandberg, who unfortunately was unable to attend because of COVID. Luckily, Collider’s Steve Weintraub was in a position to communicate with Sandberg through Zoom to discuss all things IMAX and Shazam! 2.

In a sequel where a family of superheroes is duking it out with Greek goddesses who name themselves the Daughters of Atlas, the bigger, the better. In Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Zachary Levi reprises his role because the kid-hero Billy Batson/Shazam, alongside a returning cast that features Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, and more, and introduces Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler to the DCEU universe. At the helm of all of it, Sandberg returned from the primary movie with much more epic battle sequences and what’s rapidly turning into his signature horror flair.


During his conversation with us, Sandberg shares some IMAX formatting secrets and techniques, just like the breakdown of adapting sound mixes, and we be taught not only his favorite IMAX spot however James Cameron’s as well. Sandberg touches on the grasp of IMAX, Christopher Nolan, shares why Shazam! Fury of the Gods must be seen on the biggest display screen, and even reveals a “band-aid” for tricky VFX photographs to be looking out for within the movie. For all of this and extra, you can watch the interview within the video above, or read the total conversation under.

COLLIDER: So how are you feeling?

DAVID F. SANDBERG: Oh, I’m feeling a lot better right now. But yeah, it was tremendous bizarre yesterday seeing footage and stuff from the premiere and never being there. It was very unusual, but yeah, I received to do the screening and some native premieres in Europe, so that was cool.

David F. Sandberg speaking into the camera. Image through David F. Sandberg’s YouTube

Yeah, a minimum of it was at the tail finish of the journey.

SANDBERG: Yeah, and you realize, of course, that is the place I obtained it by traveling round and talking to all of the individuals.

This is just the model new norm, and you’re not the one filmmaker I’ve spoken to who received it on the end of the tour. It’s a protracted listing of people. What room are you at? Is this your screening room at home?

SANDBERG: Yeah, or my little house office kind of thing. So dealing with this fashion I have my desktop, facing that means I can watch motion pictures and stuff.

So what you’re basically saying is if you had been working on Shazam! that is the room that you just had been engaged on it in?

SANDBERG: No, then I was at Warner Bros. for the editing and every thing.

I meant more before you began filming, this is in all probability the room you were creating everything.

SANDBERG: Yes, yeah. So before we moved all the means down to Atlanta before prep actually beginning, yeah.

shazam-fury-of-the-gods-poster-social-featured Image through Warner Bros. 

The major purpose we get to talk at present is about IMAX. I’ve mentioned repeatedly that is my favorite way of watching a movie. I even have many recollections of IMAX theaters and where I saw what and when, so I need to know from you: Do you might have a favourite IMAX memory of seeing a film in a movie theater that actually left a powerful impression on you?

SANDBERG: I solely saw IMAX in the U S, I by no means noticed it in Sweden once I lived there. I suppose they have them, however not the place I lived. No, I think here, I thought Dunkirk was really cool. I mean, Christopher Nolan is like, he is the IMAX guy, taking pictures on the true film cameras and every thing. It would be awesome to attempt that sooner or later, being on the market in IMAX, taking a glance at those huge cameras and everything. Yeah, I assume Dunkirk because that was a considerably early one. I don’t keep in mind what the first one was, but I just thought that one worked so properly because, I imply, a lot of it is in the full IMAX as a outcome of it is little or no dialogue so they may simply shoot it with the enormous cameras so much.

Do you have a favourite theater in LA that you simply like watching films in, particularly IMAX?

SANDBERG: I suppose I’ve only largely been at the Universal CityWalk. What are the best ones here?

James Cameron told me years ago that he likes the AMC Burbank 16.

SANDBERG: Yeah, I’ve been there, however perhaps I haven’t seen anything in IMAX there. Do they have the full movie projection and everything?

Yeah, the CityWalk is excellent as a end result of it is one of those full-on movie theaters. and the Burbank AMC 16 is nice. It is a extremely unbelievable theater, nevertheless it’s not like CityWalk. CityWalk’s like these old-school science Museum types, and Burbank has been type of retrofitted, but they’re both nice, nice theaters.

SANDBERG: Yeah, I’ve been to AMC 16 many times, but, yeah, I don’t assume I’ve seen something in IMAX there.


Next time you go see something there, perhaps even your movie, once you’re feeling good. Audiences clearly have a choice on the place they will see a movie and your film is about to come out in IMAX, so what do you need to inform folks as to why they need to see your movie on an IMAX screen?

SANDBERG: It’s the biggest display, the most immersive display, and I just like the IMAX sound as nicely. I imply, you do a separate IMAX combine for it simply because it is such a special configuration from the conventional ones. So much of it’s just the size and how enveloped in it you are.

Actually, you touched on this slightly bit and I wished to go somewhat deeper when you don’t thoughts. A lot of occasions folks do not understand, the typical person does not perceive if you end the movie and you get your VFX shots and every little thing, there’s still plenty of work to do in post-production, getting the film able to be in a movie show. Can you discuss what you do specifically for an IMAX launch that’s different than a standard theater?

SANDBERG: Yeah, I mean, you do a separate sound mix. IMAX does not have subwoofers, for example, because they have such massive speakers that you do not want it. So you do not need an LFE channel, and you’ve got type of a different configuration of speakers, so you have to do a separate mix. Then the image is labored on, as well, however that is something that IMAX does. They have their own process for it that, I guess, is type of secret, or one thing. So what occurs is that they’ll do their type of conversion time and show it to you, after which, if there’s anything you do not like about it you may give notes or whatever, however I don’t think I’ve ever had any notes as a outcome of it seems great every time.

I’m assuming you went to their headquarters to watch. So that theater is the place we frequently do some of our screenings. We did a screening there. I’m making an attempt to explain– Most people don’t get to go there, but sitting in that theater, it’s sort of nice.

SANDBERG: [Laughs] Yeah, it is a unbelievable theater, and it is cool that they have the two variations. So you possibly can check out each. They have the fanciest one, however then they also have this – I do not wish to call it a lesser one, however it’s a little lesser than the fanciest one.

nope jordan peele behind the scenes image

The huge display screen is, I consider, laser projection. The entire top-of-the-line sort of issues.

SANDBERG: Yeah, no. That one’s the very best.

Speaking concerning the film for a cut up second, when you think about all the VFX that you simply did and all the stuff that you worked on for the Shazam! sequel, which sequence ended up being the one that was, “Are we ever going to finish this? Is it gonna look as good as I’m imagining it is gonna look in my head?”

SANDBERG: Yeah, it wasn’t a lot sequences, more like photographs that took endlessly, and you understand, you at all times run out of time and have to repair things. I imply, the one that was probably one of many very last shots to come in, is when they all gather on the bridge, and he is like, “Oh, we solely have…” you know, they all fly in and land and every thing. The big issue there was Mary as a result of she flies in– so she begins out as a digi double, and then it turns into the actress, Grace, on wires being lowered down and touchdown. And that hand-off simply was not working as a outcome of, normally, if you go from a digi double to an actual individual it is in a fast transfer, so things get hidden by motion blur, and this was only a very easy, very slow touchdown, and it just did not work.

We were speaking to the VFX guys and every little thing to redo the entire thing, to redo the digi double, and everything was gonna be so expensive and take so much time, and we were simply at the right on the end of the schedule. So, what we ended up doing was we added a bunch of smoke, that is why she goes through a smoke cloud. So, as she goes through that smoke, that is when she goes from digi to real, however it’s properly integrated. When she goes through the smoke, her physique pushes it away and every thing, so, I imply, if you don’t know that it is a band-aid, I think it actually works, but it’s completely identical to, “Let’s cowl it up, what’s not working, with including smoke.

That occurs lots, you understand, especially in course of the tip where it’s like, “Oh, this shot just isn’t getting there, let’s add some lens flares or digicam shake, or one thing just to hide it,” you know? But yeah, that one was one that took eternally to do. So yeah, it was a day we were just not getting there, so add smoke, you know?

Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) Image by way of Warner Bros. 

It’s so funny as a outcome of I know precisely what you are speaking about, and I would have by no means guessed that was a band-aid.

SANDBERG: Well, mission achieved then. But, yeah, I mean, it’s plenty of things like that you have to do in a film, and hopefully, audiences just suppose it’s all intentional.

Sure, so what you’re trying to say is J.J. [Abrams’] lens flares in his first Star Trek movie was hiding stuff.

SANDBERG: [Laughs] They in all probability helped him a lot. Yeah, probably helped him a lot.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is in theaters now. You can watch our interview with Levi below.


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