The folks in charge of effects for Everything Everywhere All At Once didn't have much FX experience before putting together the film
Everything Everywhere All At Once is a film that impressively traverses the multiverse (no, not Marvel’s Multiverse of Madness), but the most impressive aspect of the film is that all of the special effects were conjured up by amateurs, according to IMDb.
In fact, all of the VFX for the film was done by a crew of nine people; only five of which handled capturing the shots during principal photography. Of the nine team members, two directors, Daniel Kwan, and Daniel Scheinert, otherwise known as “the Daniels,” got their hands dirty, and the entire crew clearly put in their hours at YouTube university.
Well, we don’t know for certain that the VFX team for Everything Everywhere All at Once specifically mastered their craft from YouTube alone, but they did pick up all of their skills by consulting free online tutorials without formal training. The goal in producing this film was to work with a close-knit friend group who could have fun exploring their imaginations and let their creativity in the visual field be just a little unhinged. Sometimes it’s the lack of experience and formal training that allows one’s imagination to truly blossom.
The innovative visuals found in Everything Everywhere All At Once reminds us of a 1960 interview with Orson Welles on the virtue of ignorance, in which he was asked how he was able to make such bold and brave creative decisions while producing the classic Citizen Kane. When asked how he got away with such enormous technical advances involving the camera lens, he stated that it was his ignorance and naivety that allowed him to push the envelope in ways that even he couldn’t fathom at the time.
Wells stated, “I had a cameraman who didn’t care if he was criticized if he failed, and I didn’t know that there were things you couldn’t do, so anything I could think up in my dreams, I attempted to photograph.”
Whether the VFX crew involved with Everything Everywhere All at Once were aware of this interview or not, it’s clear that they’re carrying the same spirit into 21st-century filmmaking. To put it simply, sometimes not knowing your limitations is what truly makes you become limitless in your abilities to harness your imagination. And the imaginative VFX in the time and space-bending film has shown us that anything could be possible if you put your mind to it.
Everything Everywhere All At Once is an action-adventure, absurdist comedy-drama that follows the many lives of Evelyn Wang, a laundromat owner who gets sucked into an inexplicable multiverse rift full of alternate realities. And just in case you’re wondering what kind of catalyst is required to break down so many metaphysical barriers, you’d be right if the first thing that comes to your mind is a tax audit.
Not only are we wowed with fight choreography that would make even the most experienced of stunt coordinators give the film a double take, the morphing of the human body, and the ways both scenery and shapes shift in front of our very eyes is nothing to scoff at.
The phrase “seeing is believing” rings so very true in the case of Everything Everywhere All at Once, and it’s clear that everybody involved in this project was truly passionate about what they were trying to accomplish. And it’s safe to say that they pulled it off! The 2022 film went on to win seven Academy Awards, including, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screen Play, and Best Picture.
If you haven’t yet given Everything Everywhere All At Once a look, and you’re wondering what all the hype is about, you can stream the film on Showtime. Just make sure you wipe out your planner, because you’re going to watch it, like, 20 times.