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The Little Mermaid BTS Videos Reveal The Blue Hell Of Filming Under The Sea

by AcklinEHuey

New The Little Mermaid behind-the-scenes videos reveal the unique blue screen methods used during the film’s production. Serving as a live-action remake of Disney’s 1989 film of the same name, director Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, a mermaid who yearns for a life beyond the sea. Much of the film takes place underwater, meaning the production had to get a little creative when it came to depicting life on the ocean floor.


Now, following The Little Mermaid‘s release, behind-the-scenes videos shared by Michael Cook, Charles Emanuel, and Entertainment Tonight reveal how the film’s underwater sequences were captured. The videos show that footage was shot on large blue screen sets, with Bailey, sometimes on wires, interacting with performers wearing blue suits or using puppets to portray her aquatic friends. Check out the videos below:

Blue Screen May Have Been The Little Mermaid’s Best Option

Seeing the above videos of The Little Mermaid‘s production immediately calls to mind another water-based Disney blockbuster: Avatar: The Way of Water. While The Little Mermaid created the film’s water sequences used a “dry for wet” blue screen setup, director James Cameron opted to create Avatar: The Way of Water‘s underwater action by putting his actors into a large tank in which they held their breath and acted out their performances.

It’s fair to say that the epic Avatar sequel features CGI that’s leagues above the latest Disney live-action remake, but Marshall’s film using Cameron’s production methods may not have been the best option. It’s important to note that Cameron’s film not only had a significantly larger budget, but it also had far more time in pre-production, production, and post-production to make these unique filming methods work (it also had Cameron himself, a major trailblazer in the VFX world). In terms of getting the most bang for its buck, blue screen was probably The Little Mermaid‘s best option.

What is interesting, however, is that much of Bailey’s performance on the blue screen set probably isn’t what audiences actually see in the movie. Instead, her time sitting on the blue-clad performer’s back and zipping around on wires likely just ended up being used as reference material for VFX artists who then recreated everything in post anyway. While it’s certainly somewhat amusing to see The Little Mermaid‘s production methods, it seems like it did ultimately translate to some impressive on-screen visuals in the final product.

Sources: @MichaelCookFilm/ Twitter, @CharlesEmanuel/ Twitter, Entertainment Tonight/ TikTok

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