Making Madness: A Closer Look At DNEG’s Work on Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Uncover our work on George Miller’s action-packed prequel

Learn more about our team’s work on Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga!

The epic Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga launched into theatres in May. As lead VFX partner on the film, it marked DNEG’s first foray into the Mad Max Universe – and was also the first film led out of our DNEG Sydney studio!

To bring George Miller’s hyper stylized vision for the film to life, our global crew of 1000+ artists delivered 880 shots across 24 key sequences. Work included 16 signature environments, including Gas Town, the Citadel, Bullet Farm, and the huge expanse of Wasteland desert landscapes, as well as over 100 character assets and over 50 vehicles.

In a series of recent interviews, our very own Andrew Jackson (Production VFX Supervisor) and Dan Bethell (VFX Supervisor) have been sharing details on the VFX work that our amazing global teams delivered on the show.


Read on for a closer look at our work!

Stowaway to Nowhere 

Due to the lengthy filming processes and turbulent weather conditions in New South Wales, the Wasteland environments needed to be digitally added in to achieve consistency across the film. Andrew Jackson shared with befores & afters, “I don’t think there are any scenes in the film which have photographic backgrounds that were filmed on set. They were complete all the way to the horizon. Pretty much every scene was generated.”

This is especially true for the 250-shot ‘Stowaway to Nowhere’ sequence, which was filmed on 78 separate days both on location in New South Wales, Australia, and at Fox Studios in Sydney. To composite the shots, the team had to extract every character and vehicle from the live-action frames.



Dan Bethell shared with befores & afters, “We knew early on that we were going to need full CG versions of pretty much every vehicle. We built those from great scans and reference photography and then would rig them for all the kinds of action needed, such as the driveshaft underneath spinning.”

The resulting scene is an epic, non-stop action sequence as the War Rig is chased by the Octoboss and his Mortiflyers, complete with multiple vehicle collisions and explosions – and even parachutists and paragliders joining in the attack!



The Bullet Farm

Another key scene our team worked on was the battle at Bullet Farm. The 116 shot sequence included the creation of the town itself, as well as the face-off between Furiosa and Dementus.

For the environment work, our crew extended the set that was built – which consisted of the base of the main gate, the roadway in, and some additional dwellings – into the entire Bullet Town, researching real open-cut mines in Australia to develop the distinct look.



After arriving at the Bullet Farm, Furiosa and Jack are ambushed by Dementus and his gang, resulting in the War Rig being driven into the mine, crashing through vehicles and structures, and a sniper stand-off. Andrew commented, “I really liked the Furiosa sniper rifle sequence. It’s all quite stylized and almost like caricatured action.”



When the War Rig crashes into the tower Dementus was lurking on, causing him to nearly fall from the structure, the team created the shower of bullets coming down the gantry onto his face!

Dan told befores & afters, “They were a fairly complex effects simulation. We didn’t want to cover Chris’ face, so some of the bullets had to be slowly coerced out of the way. Bear in mind, there are hundreds of these bullets, so we had to do it in a way that didn’t look contrived or overly art directed.”


Gas Town

The team also worked on the environments of Gas Town, a large structure built on a flat plain area around an abandoned refinery south of The Citadel.

“That was one of my favourite locations,” Andrew shared with IndieWire. “I really liked the look of that. It was very stormy and over the top. The idea was that there was this sort of local weather system that hung around above this toxic oil refinery with dark clouds and the flames from the refinery.”

Gas Town appears twice in the film; first as a fully functional plant, and later in a more decayed state after Dementus takes over. To build the refinery, the team relied on a combination of concept art and existing refineries – including a plastic resin refinery in Sydney that served as a key reference. Dan told befores & afters, “I went down there with some of the production. We spent a couple of days down there scanning it, photographing the pipes, the manifolds, the valves, and all these bits to build up a kind of a visual language, a bit of a Lego kit, if you will, of all these components combined with a lot of research into oil refineries.”


Furious Attention to Detail

In addition to these key sequences, the team also crafted 100 character assets including creatures, crowd, and a vast array of digi-doubles for bespoke animation and CG takeovers. They also built over 50 vehicles – including hero vehicles such as the War Rig, Dementus’ Monster Truck and the Octoboss Glider – and delivered complex FX fire, explosions, dust and destruction sims to bring the action to life on the big screen!



Learn more about our work on Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga here!




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