Principal photography primarily took place in California for the exterior settings of San Francisco and the campus of the Amaya Corporation. “The only exception for that is the crash on the freeway,” states Whitehurst. “The beginning was in San Francisco and the end part was shot at Oxfordshire in England where we could control a section of road. It was tricky. We got some good, low sun and our colorist, Asa Shoul, helped with the grading of the sequence to bring everything even closer together. The other location that we had to do a digital version of was a multiverse shot where we see multiple Lyndons (Cailee Spaeny) falling off of a dam and then Katie (Alison Pill) walking away. Looking at things in the edit even as the shoot was progressing and refining what the multiverse was going to be, we realized what was shot in Santa Cruz wasn’t right. We ended up shooting a small set piece with greenscreen in a car park by the studio space in Manchester. Then we had to create a full CG environment. That was very late as well.
“All of the multiverse shots where you are seeing multiple versions of a character doing slightly different things were motion control and putting greenscreen behind the actors as they’re performing,” remarks Whitehurst. “Often, it was a section of greenscreen attached to a Flag on C-Stand with a grip literally walking behind the actor as they’re doing their thing. The two interior multiverse shots in the apartment were a lot of roto and edge blending because we couldn’t get the greenscreen into the areas that we would have needed to get them into to get keys – that was more labor intensive.”
A close partnership was developed with Series Editor Jake Roberts and Visual Effects Editor Steve Pang. “When the rushes would come in, Steve would do a quick editorial test. For example, at the university where you have multiple Katies walking out when she first meets Forest (Nick Offerman). The finished version was more finessed and the edges were better, but with Steve’s temp we knew that the shot was going to work. That side of things was smooth. The tricky bits were things like the fall off of the dam because it was such a complicated move and there were so many elements. Just before shooting in Manchester I did a storyboard so cinematographer Rob Hardy, Alex and I could look at it and say, ‘Yes. This is what we’re going to shoot now.’ We were able to communicate that to the guys setting up the motion control camera moves. Jo McLaren’s stunt team had a stunt performer doing all of the falls, so we were going to get every angle that was needed to stitch everything together into this one massive shot.”