The death of Paul Walker in a car accident in December 2013 left thousands of his fans around the world heart broken. One of the lead actors in the globally successful movie franchise, The Fast and the Furious, Paul Walker’s death also left the producers in a state of quandary on whether to scrap the film or continue with it while making certain changes in the original plot. However, neither of the two options was necessary as the film is completed thanks to computer generated imagery (CGI).
New Zealand based WETA Digital is credited with state of the art digital recreations of Paul Walker, enabling director James Wan to bring Fast and Furious 7 to a conclusion.
WETA Digital is well versed in computer generated imagery (CGI). The company was also aided by Paul Walker’s brothers Cody and Caleb. Special lighting and camera angles were incorporated so as to use the two brothers as body doubles thus allowing a splitting image of Paul Walker.
350 various shots of the actor were used along with trick shots of Walker from earlier movies in the series, to create the desired images. While fast paced action scenes were easier to manage, it was the scenes where Paul is sitting still or delivering dialogues up close that were the most difficult to manage digitally to get the exact effect.
The result – a perfect send-off to the actor which was etched in the memory of his fans around the globe.