Watch Ryan Reynolds Power Up in ‘Free Guy’ | Anatomy of a Scene

New revelations come quickly and colorfully to Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who transforms from a supporting character in a video game character to its biggest star.

In this scene, Guy, a bank teller whose work day plays out predictably, down to a daily bank robbery, this time turns the tables. He takes down a robber, including the special glasses he wears. When Guy puts them on, he sees an entirely new graphical layer of his town that he has been missing before.

Discussing the scene, the director Shawn Levy said that he wanted to unlock this secret part of the video game world using a lively visual motif, with bursts of color and action all around.

“I wanted this sequence, frankly, to be a little bit overwhelming to the audience,” Levy said, “like there’s too much to take in because that’s exactly what Ryan’s character is experiencing.”

Levy said that he played a lot of video games when researching the movie, and he kept noticing how the camera moved in less of a human-operated way, and instead was “almost robotic in its speed and fluidity,” he said. For this scene, he and his team sought to mimic that by mounting the camera on a robotic arm. They then programmed the arm to move around Guy as he sees things through his glasses. Because the movement were locked in by code, Levy said, Reynolds had to be precise with his blocking to avoid being injured by the camera.

Read the New York Times review:
More from The New York Times Video:
Whether it’s reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It’s all the news that’s fit to watch.