The visual evolution that has occurred between a one-time technical game changer like Back to the Future and a film like Captain America: The Winter Soldier is as stark a change as the one that we saw when black and white gave way to color.
Technological advances and an ambitious workforce have opened the creative floodgates and brought us to a point where virtually anything is possible. Sometimes, hubris fuels calamity and the end result is pretty but cold and hollow. Other times, though, it’s a spectacle that tricks the mind.
The above sizzle reel from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) shows some of the work that went into the making of Captain America: The Winter Soldier as a blank screen and bland set pieces are given the breath of life by an army of unseen and barely recognized wizards. In an age of innumerable special features and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, this is the kind of thing that really makes you feel less hokey when you talk about movie magic. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.