More than a year after Mad Max: Fury Road hit theaters, we’re still talking about the action epic. No small wonder considering it’s pretty much an instant classic as one of the most impressive, engaging, unyielding action spectacles in cinematic history. And Imperator Furiosa is a character creation for the ages, and Charlize Theron‘s performance of her is of equal praise, it’s perhaps the technical achievements behind Fury Road that are the most the most remarkable, and in some cases, batshit crazy.
There’s a reason Fury Road all but swept the Oscar’s technical categories last year, taking home Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup and Hair Design — but noticeably not Best Visual Effects (that went to Ex Machina). Director George Miller and his wildly talented crew created a practical, in-camera world that is almost bafflingly attentive to detail and fully rendered on-screen.
That prodigious craftsmanship is evident in pretty much every department, but by far the most breath-taking has to be the practical effects put to work to bring Fury Road‘s insane action and chase sequences to life. And lucky, lucky us, the folks over at ESportsTV (via Uproxx) have cut together a reel revealing tons of raw special effects footage without additional visual effects. Aerial stunts, flamethrowers, motorcycle acrobatics, and enormous gear-grinding collisions abound. Even without the CGI touch-ups, it still looks better than most action movies out there today.
Check out four minutes of raw, CGI-free footage below and revel in the glory of Miller’s in-camera sorcery. It’s probably going to be the best thing you watch today.
Of course, this isn’t to undersell the hugely important role the VFX department played in the finished product. It’s just that Miller knows exactly how to use each effects department to their best…well…effect. Ask any visual effects professional, and they’re likely to tell you that the best VFX are the ones you don’t notice, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here. Miller staged all the wham-bam action in camera and used visual effects to set that stage, clean up the action, and add some extra oomph. If you’re curious what that looks like, be sure to check out Fury Road‘s Visual Effects reel.