The use of CGI in The Witcher in one particular scene caused a hilarious incident for Anya Chalotra and her fellow scene partner.
The development of CGI is both a boon and a curse for the way modern movies are made. There are directors who try their best to make almost everything practical, 'The Revenant' comes to mind, but there is a certain thing practical effects cannot match, ease, and convenience. Sometimes, ease and convenience of doing work trumps almost anything, and it is the reason why CGI is over-utilized nowadays.
Almost all the TV shows and movies use special effects to do certain things, and 'The Witcher' is an immense production where practical effects are combined with CGI to give a seamless feel of both scale and detail. But the way of doing CGI is uncomfortable for the actors, take for example 'Avengers Endgame' where a stuffed raccoon was used for a reference point for the actors during the sitting around the scene.
Watch: The trailer for the first season of The Witcher; currently streaming worldwide on Netflix
Actor Sean Gunn crouched down to half his height for other reference shots when it comes to 'Rocket.' This is the technique directors use to give the other actors something to interact with, and we’ve all seen footage of actors talking to balls or cardboard cutouts because they would be later used to put a CGI character in place. Now, this method is extremely hard for an actor to convey correctly.
There is no reference point to know where the CGI object will be placed, and when there are multiple actors present in a single scene, then there is bound to be some confusion when it comes to the direction both actors are supposed to look. Anya Chalotra explained, there was a big goof-up during the filming of one scene in Witcher where the two actors were looking in two different directions.
Anya Chalotra plays the character of Yennefer in the hit Netflix series The Witcher. Source: Instagram
The scene in question where the hilarious incident occurred was during the assassin scene while 'Yennefer' and the Queen were in the carriage. The knives in the scene were added later on with CGI, and instead, the director of the episode called out numbers to get the two actors to react inside the carriage. They were both supposed to look in the same direction, but instead, the actors were split the directions they ended up looking.
Anya Chalotra was doing a shot by shot thing for Netflix where she said, “We had Alex, the director, shout, 'One, two, three, four!' and we just had to look at these knives coming through the carriage," she said in the clip, before explaining how the two of them made a big mistake. That was actually really hard; to get the timing right with both of us. I remember we both actually looked different ways, to begin with. It was so funny. The knives were put in [with] CGI later.”
Except for the knife goof up, the seen led to a heartbreaking and revealing scene with Yennefer being done with court life and protecting people who would not protect their own child. The scene was also the reason most fans were sold on the actress as Yennefer, well, that answers the question of whether Anya Chalotra could justify the role of Yennefer in The Witcher.
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