You’ll be able to visit The Last of Us’ breakout star on the Calgary Zoo, and no, it’s not Pedro Pascal or Bella Ramsey. Because it seems, the HBO series’ giraffe scene, adapted straight from the games, was created with an actual giraffe and filmed contained in the Calgary Zoo. The zoo has few a giraffes, but Nabo — a 12-year-old male Masai giraffe who’s the tallest of the bunch at 17 feet — was chosen for the role.
The scene is query is one of the vital essential within the video game and show; it’s the culmination of hours value of unrelenting violence, a moment of reprieve before Joel (Pascal) and Ellie (Ramsey) come up against more of The Last of Us’ patented brutality. HBO put the scene in the sport’s ninth episode, its first season finale. Ellie is recovering from an especially traumatic encounter with a bunch of cannibals, faraway from her usual wit and humor. She stumbles upon the giraffe at exactly the best moment — a reminder of the sweetness and power of nature. It was essential to HBO’s production team to get this moment right, which meant using an actual giraffe.
“What I quickly learned after doing the research on the sport was just how critically essential this one moment is to the entire story of the sport,” location manager Matt Palmer says in HBO’s Making of The Last of Us documentary. “Yes, you possibly can create a giraffe in visual effects, nevertheless it’s just not the identical.”
Naturally, there have been quite a lot of people on social media who thought the giraffe was entirely fake, totally CGI, as so many on-screen animals are as of late. Others went up to now as to criticize the CGI, unaware that the giraffe is an animal actor, Nabo. Possibly tripping people up: There was a superb deal of visual effects utilized to drag off the scene.
HBO took the production of The Last of Us to the Calgary Zoo to film the scene. Nabo’s enclosure was fitted out with blue paneling to make a blue screen. The setup took a few month, production designer John Paino tells Variety, in order that the giraffe could get comfortable within the modified environment and with an entire bunch of recent people, including Pascal and Ramsey, who feed the giraffe within the scene. And it does make an impact; even Ramsey said within the documentary that being so near an enormous animal was almost “spiritual.” So yes, the giraffe is real, however the environment just isn’t — that’s a CGI background led by visual effects supervisor Alex Wang.
“That’s Hollywood magic of Alex isolating the giraffes and putting them on our set,” Paino said. “That was probably probably the most complicated piecing of VFX stage, scenery and placement I’ve worked on.”