• The CGI in
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    was used subtly and brilliantly, showcasing Scorsese’s attention to detail.
  • This technology was revolutionized by James Cameron’s Avatar, leading to more CGI use in various genres.
  • Despite the difficulty and cost of CGI, Scorsese’s seamlessly blended computer-generated images with reality.

The Wolf of Wall Street’s VFX supervisor breaks down the use of CGI in the modern classic. Directed by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, this epic comedy crime film recounts the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the rampant corruption of his New York brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont. Upon release, The Wolf of Wall Street was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, which highlighted lead actor DiCaprio’s impressive performance, Scorsese’s stellar directing work and much more. However, one of the less appreciated aspects of the movie is its subtle and excellent use of CGI.

Now, in a recent video from Corridor Crew,The Wolf of Wall Street VFX supervisor Robert Legato highlights the different scenes in the movie where visual effects were required and used. The experienced VFX supervisor also emphasized the attention that was paid to tiny details while using visual effects. Read his comments below:

There’s a company in New York called Brainstorm, and we went out to the Hamptons and that’s where the real location wanted to be, and we photographed all the elements and all the stuff and this crappy house was somewhere else because there’s nothing about this that we could use. We can’t use the water, we can’t use anything. It was an ugly sin house on the inside, but at any rate, I was very happy with this. It was the first time I used a drone.

I got the lion for one day. We had to build a special cage. We couldn’t have the lion anywhere near you. I mean this is true. Women, if they’re menstruating, can’t be on the set because it gets the lion worked up. I must have done this motion control. I designed the commercial which is supposed to look kinda goofy in the 1970s or whatever. So I’d shoot a shot, and then he would go, and they’d lock him back up, and then we would put the people in every shot was done that way.

The Use Of CGI In The Wolf of Wall Street Makes The Movie Even More Impressive

Jordan in The Wolf of Wall Street

Historically, computer-generated imagery has been mainly utilized in the action and superhero genres as well as fantasy and sci-fi films. Even though CGI has been in use for some time now — Michael Crichton’s 1973 science fiction western was the first feature film to make use of this process — James Cameron’s Avatar revolutionized the use of the technology, carefully and brilliantly employing it for most of the movie’s extensive runtime.

Following Cameron’s groundbreaking use of visual effects, the technology became more commonplace, extending to other genres. While CGI remains incredibly difficult and expensive to get right, The Wolf of Wall Street manages to employ the technology in both a subtle and brilliant way, showcasing Martin Scorsese’s willingness to think outside the box as well as his stunning attention to detail.


How Accurate The Wolf Of Wall Street Is To The True Story

The Wolf of Wall Street is based on an elaborate memoir written by Jordan Belfort himself, raising questions about both the book and film’s accuracy.

Without Legato outrightly pointing out the scenes that required visual effects, except the scene with the lion, it would be difficult for most viewers to spot what image or scene was computer generated and what’s real. This is testament to how seamless the use of CGI was in The Wolf of Wall Street, evidencing just how much work and attention was paid to its creation, and all this considered makes the movie ever more impressive.

Source: Corridor Crew

The Wolf of Wall Street

Directed by Martin Scorcese, The Wolf of Wall Street tells the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), based on his memoir of the same name. It chronicles the rise of Belfort and the subsequent corruption of his firm as he engages in a wide assortment of criminal acts while amassing a staggering fortune. Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, and Kyle Chandler also star alongside DiCaprio.

Release Date
December 25, 2013

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures , Universal Pictures

Terence Winter


100 million

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