“Transformers: Age of Extinction“is aiming to be one of the most staggering special effect films of the entire summer.
One of the most challenging aspects for the cast is acting alongside giant Transformer robots that are computer generated (and painstakingly so).
Business Insider recently caught up with Mark Wahlberg’s stunt double on the film, Dan Mast, who told us when it came to interacting with the Transformers on set, the cast wasn’t taking on a giant shape-shifting robot but rather just staring at a really big stick, sometimes with the face of a Transformer atop it.
“Anytime there was a robot that I was interacting with, we would have a giant pole so we could see the eye-line,” said Mast.
When one of the robots would “attack him,” there were actual explosive charges set around where he would have to dodge the transformer.
However, the stunt man didn’t have much interaction with the Transformers.
“For the most part, a lot of the robot interactions is robot on robot,” Mast said. “There weren’t too many robot-human interactions.”
Mast, who usually does more practical stunt work in films like “Divergent,” said it’s a big change doing that sort of digital stunt work in the film.
“There’s a big difference,” Mast told us. “If we’re doing anything on the green screen we’re able to fake a lot of things, we’re able to fake a lot of the impact, but if we’re on an actual set and I have to go through a real window it becomes much more difficult.”
Mast said other than the addition of the Transformers, little digital effects were used in the movie.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of green screen on this particular film,” said Mast. “A lot of the sets, they were really built and they were really there. It’s not like doing [the special effects heavy] ‘300’ or something like that. Everything was very real, and that was one of the cool things working with Bay.”
For Mast, the biggest difference between practical and digital stunt work is really a matter of emotion.
“[Practical stunt work] is physically more demanding, but the reactions are more real,” Mast said. “It’s a little bit harder on the body but we get over that and in the long run when you watch the film… it pays off.”
“Personally,” he added, “I prefer the real thing.”
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