EntertainmentChristopher Nolan recreates a nuclear explosion without special effects...

Christopher Nolan recreates a nuclear explosion without special effects by computer for his film Oppenheimer

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The new movie about the father of the atomic bomb wants to be as realistic as possible. A disturbing fact when we talk about a nuclear explosion.

During an interview in Variety, Christopher Nolan has revealed that in his new film Oppenheimer have recreated a nuclear explosion without using computer special effects . How have they done it?

Christopher Nolan is shooting a movie based on the life of the physicist JR Oppenheimer, considered the father of the atomic bomb. We will see the explosion of the first atomic bomb, called The Gadget, recreated without any kind of computer effect.

The prestigious director is not a big fan of CGI special effects, or rather, he tries to use them as little as possible. I get to blow up a real Boeing 747 plane, instead of recreating it digitally. But this seems like a challenge that goes off the charts: How can you recreate an atomic bomb in a traditional way, without resorting to miniatures, which end up being noticed?

Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb

Christopher Nolan has a powerful subject on his hands. Oppenheimer is a film that will tell the life of the physicist JR Oppenheimer. He was the director of the Manhattan Project, the initiative of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada to make atomic bombs. The best scientists of the Allies developed two types of atomic bombs: uranium and plutonium.

The uranium bomb had a simple activation mechanism: it was enough to make the uranium collide with each other to cause the chain reaction, so there was no need to test it. It was the one that was launched in Hiroshima.

The plutonium bomb was much more complicated. The radioactive metal tubes were surrounded by explosives with a large number of detonators. It had to be tested before being used against the Japanese at Nagasaki , so on July 16, 1945, the Trinity Test was held in the Jornada del Muerto desert in New Mexico. Here you can see the real nuclear explosion:

It caused a cloud of fire more than 10 kilometers high and turned the desert floor to glass, creating a new mineral named trinitite.

While looking at the smoke mushroom, JR Oppenheimer came to mind a phrase from the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu text: “I have become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.” No one could describe it better.

On August 9, 1945, a very similar plutonium bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Three days earlier the uranium bomb had fallen on Hiroshima. In total , between 129,000 and 246,000 people died, most of them civilians. Japan announced its surrender, which marked the end of World War II.

It seems that Christopher Nolan is going to focus on recreating the beginnings of the Manhattan Project, and that is why we will see in the film the explosion of the first atomic bomb , that of the Trinity Test without computer effects.

I think that recreating the Trinity Test without using CG was quite a challenge ,” says Nolan in Variety, via Koimoi.

Adrew Jackson, my visual effects supervisor, was looking at how we could make many of the visual elements of the film practical, from rendering quantum dynamics and quantum physics to the Trinity test itself .”

And he continues: “We also recreated Los Alamos with my team on a New Mexico plateau in extraordinary weather conditions, many of which were necessary for the film“.

Nolan has not wanted to explain how they have recreated the atomic bomb without computer effects. But he has revealed that he has worked with Kodak to get a new type of film that has allowed him to shoot the film in black and white, but in IMAX format.

With visually stunning works behind him like Interstellar or Tenet, Christopher Nolan is sure to leave us speechless when we see that nuclear explosion without computer effects in his new biopic Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb.

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