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Part Two Back To Back


Making “Dune” and “Dune: Part Two” sounds like an ordeal. Denis Villeneueve, cinematographer Greig Fraser, and production designer Patrice Vermette maintained an inhuman level of fastidiousness throughout the making of the films, trudging through the deserts of Jordan and Abu Dhabi in order to find the perfect individual sand dunes for specific scenes, and becoming what Villeneuve termed “sand traumatized” in the process. Surely, though, nobody was as sand traumatized as Vermette, who had to bottle specific sand grains from various places so as to ensure continuity between shooting locations.

Meanwhile, Fraser was busy creating virtual environments of real-life locations, allowing him to track the sun’s trajectory in real time and determine the perfect lighting conditions for specific scenes. For TimothĂ©e Chalamet and Zendaya’s intimate, dune-top conversation, this led to some of the shortest scenes in “Dune: Part Two” taking a full three days to shoot. That’s because Fraser identified a solid hour during sunrise for shooting, forcing the crew to trek into the desert for that brief period when filming conditions were ideal.

All of this meticulousness would have been bad enough without the fact that filming conditions on “Dune: Part Two” in particular had people passing out right and left. Put simply, the deserts of Wadi Rum, Jordan, and the Liwa Oasis in the United Arab Emirates were hot as all hell. But even they didn’t cause quite as much trouble as a scene shot in Budapest. The Hungarian capital actually experienced temperatures of 110 degrees while during shooting, causing crew members to experience heat stroke.

With that in mind, it’s a darn good thing Villeneuve gave up on his initial plan to shoot these epic blockbusters back-to-back.

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