By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist January 14, 2014 at 9:04AM
While they undoubtedly exist in the film, walking out of Martin Scorsese's “The Wolf of Wall Street” you'd swear a static, locked-down shot was absent from its three-hour entirety. That breathless display comes from Scorsese and his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker, sure, but credit must also go to the visual effects team that knit the film together in a variety of subtle and surprising ways, as a new VFX reel shows.
In an impressive example of prizing story over spectacle, the folks at Brainstorm Digital have posted a three-minute video (via Film.com) showcasing their work on 'Wolf,' and it is something special. Characters, environments, and in one case everything in the frame see tweaking in order to nail the over-the-top decadence of Jordan Belfort's exploits in the film. From the lush, artificial splendor of Switzerland to the less noticeable details in dialogue scenes, the work is both fun to witness and tasked with a purpose.
Unfortunately, audiences in the United Arab Emirates are experiencing difficulties in seeing the full breadth of Scorsese's vision. 45 minutes of the film—nearly every instance of explicit sex and drug-taking—have reportedly been cut as it hit cinemas recently (via BBC News), with the profanity-laden dialogue also being muted in places as well. However, the UAE's National Media Council have denied making the changes, pointing instead to the distributors over issues of widening audience appeal across the Gulf states.
In reaction, cinema chains have put up signs warning of the cuts, while eager filmgoers turn to pirated copies instead. But perhaps Scorsese should count himself lucky, especially with his boundary-pushing film; David Fincher’s “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” remake was banned entirely from release in the UAE after its producers declined to make cuts.