Below you’ll find an awesome behind-the-scenes production featurette from Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion. It’s one I think is worth watching before you see the movie as it will heighten your appreciation for one of the environments in the film. It’s all about how the production made the cool choice to forego background compositing for the “Sky Tower” set and instead used front-projection and actual video footage taken from the top of a mountain.
This wouldn’t have been so extraordinary 10 or 15 years ago (much less 25 years ago), but in this day and age where even a low-rent network comedy uses extensive set extension and background compositing, it’s definitely notable. That’s not even mentioning the immeasurable benefit to the actors that a more realistic set generates.
This certainly doesn’t apply to each and every set, and it’s assured that they used heavy digital effects and correction throughout Oblivion as in any other VFX film of this scale, but for this very particular set you’ll see they pulled off some great images with a very old-school trick. I always love seeing cutting-edge technology and sophisticated applied to more primitive techniques.
This reminds me a bit of The Matrix, which used the biggest-ever cyclorama screen to create a skyline background in some of their high-rise sets.