indiana jones and the dial of destiny - Harrison Ford
Interviews, Movies

Filmmakers Discuss Visual Effects on ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ – San Diego Comic-Con

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny fans were in for a treat last weekend: a panel on the film’s visual effects that included never-before-seen footage from the making of the film.

The panel included Editor Dick Westervelt, Visualization Supervisor Clint G. Reagan, and the Visualization Team from Proof Inc.: Patrice Avery and Stuart Allan.

Following the panel, I participated in a roundtable interview with the filmmakers to talk further about their work on the film.

Dirk Westervelt_Patrice Avery_Clint Reagan_Stuart Allan

To me, it was just such a pleasure to work in the Indiana Jones sandbox. This world that I grew up with and was such a fan of. I think for so many [working] on the movie, that was the case. Just even having the opportunity to work on it was something,” Westervelt said.

“The two biggest sequences I worked on were the Tuk Tuk and the underwater sequence, and I’m proud of both of those because I think they were challenging,” Westervelt continued. “I was really excited with how those turned out.”

Allan also spoke about that Tuk Tuk scene, in particular. It’s an especially fun, wild part of the movie that Allan enjoyed being able to work on.

“Well they’re silly aren’t they?,” Allan said. “It did start to feel kind of like a movie jungle gym, which was really great to work on as an animator. Because everywhere’s fair came.”

“Another part I really enjoyed was they could get in things like the ‘Three Card Monte’ situation where they’re hemmed in by two other cars, but they have a unique vantage point, where Helena would reach out and break the back end of one of the cars,” Allan continued.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny - Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ethann Isidore
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ethann Isidore

Allan also noted that the audience is invested in the chase in the first place because of the relationships between the characters.

“Teddy is very jealous of Indy, this old man, and Helena is deciding whether she likes this old man, and really she doesn’t at this point, but also holding her own and establishing herself as an interesting lead in the movie. I was just glad to use the versatility to highlight the story that finally came through.”

Both Reagan and Avery also commented on the Tuk Tuk scene, which Avery said she thought was one of the most fun, and Reagan called very “rewarding.”

For Reagan, working on the film meant plenty of research. He described his process of analyzing movies and going through them to write down, beat for beat, what’s happening. That’s what he did with the previous films in the Indiana Jones franchise in order to prepare for Dial of Destiny.

“I would break down, what are the kind of shots that they’re using? What are they, and how fast is the cutting? Is Indy doing really dramatic actions, or are they restrained actions? And I get my mind into the worlds that are being created previously, and that starts to give me a reference card for when I’m directing the artists,” Reagan explained.

“Whatever the technology is, that influences us, but that’s not the key. The key is the filmmaking, and the filmmaking is story. How does this shot, how does this camera, how does this motion, enhance the experience of the character and what we should be feeling?”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny _ Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny _ Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Reagan had a long history with Indiana Jones before this, however.

“It’s what got me into the business. I was in the back of a theater, probably my fourth viewing for Last Crusade and I was bringing everybody I could. I brought my mom and dad, and I paid for them as a high school student,” Reagan laughed.

Upon his fourth viewing, he said he loved the film even more than before. “It made me emote and feel so much,” he recalled. “I said I had to be on that screen someday. I had to put my name up there and help other people feel what I was feeling that day.”

So when offered the chance to work on Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny? “My heart did a backflip,” Reagan said.

While Avery was also excited to work on an Indiana Jones film, she was especially excited to see what James Mangold would do with it, as well as Clint Reagan.

“Seeing Jim jump into this is like, what’s he going to do with this one and keep it true to its history but still make it new?” Avery said. “So I was really excited to see what Jim would do with it, and Clint too. They’re all very passionate storytellers and filmmakers, so it’s just very fun to see them get into the nuts and bolts of it all.”

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Ashley is the Editor-in-Chief of Eulalie Magazine. Favorite Movies: Sunset Boulevard, Garden State, Modern Times. Favorite TV Shows: Gilmore Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey's Anatomy. Favorite Books: Interview with the Vampire, Dracula, City of Glass.

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