Nuclear explosion from Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer recreated

A macro videographer has recreated the iconic Trinity test scene from Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer without using any special effects.

1 minute & 39 seconds read time

Oscar-winning movie Oppenheimer directed by the distinguished Christopher Nolan pushed practical filmmaking to its limits, and now a videographer has attempted to recreate an important part of the movie, the Trinity nuclear test.

For those that don't know, Christopher Nolan decided not to use any special effects to capture scenes, such as Oppenheimer imagining scientific processes interacting at the atomic level. Instead, Nolan thought of ways to capture it all in-camera. The same standard was applied to the Trinity nuclear bomb test, which took set teams various tests to get absolutely perfect for the movie.

Now, macro videographer Thomas Blanchard has decided to recreate that test with Nolan's same standard, zero special effects, and the results were very impressive. Blanchard used various lenses, liquids, and objects to create the above video, such as a Canon 100mm macro lens, gold powder, an electric screwdriver, alcohol inks, magic candles, paper clips, and a laboratory shaker. The project took the filmmaker three months to create, but as per a typical filmmaker's curse, the most difficult shot he captured wasn't included in the final edit.

"I had filmed sand in macro shaking to high-frequency sounds, on a guitar speaker. We call it cymatic. The videos were great but unfortunately they pixelated once on the internet. It was very frustrating. I think there was too much detail in the images," explained Blanchard to PetaPixel

"I was very much inspired by the Oppenheimer trailer when it came out. I was fascinated to see that the effects were done without CGI. This is the basis of my work, film as many real things as possible that seem surreal."

Blanchard used a RED Helium 8K and a Ember FreeFly 5K camera equipped with an Irix 150mm lens, a Canon 100mm macro, and a Célère 85mm cinema lens. The final product was edited in 4K.

"We filmed 90 percent of the sequences in my kitchen," adds Blanchard. "Only the fire was filmed in the studio with the high-speed camera Ember FreeFly."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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