Yesterday I updated my post on movie depictions of the Crucifixion to include a couple of films that have come out since the last update, and along the way, I decided to replace one of the images from Risen.
The original image came from the film’s trailer, but the new image — with completed visual effects — came straight from the movie itself. And I noticed that it wasn’t only the clouds in the background (which reflect the darkness that came over Jerusalem, as per Mark 15:33, Matthew 27:45 and Luke 23:44-45) that had been changed.
First, I noticed that the digital artists had erased something between Jesus’ thighs — and I think I know what it was. If you watch the bonus features on the Blu-Ray, you learn that the actors on the crosses were actually sitting on bicycle seats, and my guess is that someone felt the seat was still a little too visible here.
But then, I also noticed that there was a strong vertical line across the actor’s tummy in the original shot — where the sunlight reflects off of his abdomen — and that it had been replaced by a strong horizontal line in the finished film, as the digital artists basically sucked in the actor’s gut. (The actor’s navel is smaller now, too.)
We’ve been hearing for years now about the digital facelifts and whatnot that movie actors get on a routine basis these days, but — aside from obvious cases like Ant-Man and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where actors play different ages in different scenes — this is the first time I’ve seen a before-and-after of the technique.