The Sandman. Tom Sturridge as Dream in episode 101 of The Sandman. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

A VFX Video Demonstrates How “The Sandman” Created the Escape Scene From Dream

Dream’s spectacular escape scene from episode 1 of “The Sandman” is described in a new visual effects breakdown film. “The Sandman” season 1 was made available on Netflix earlier this month and is based on Neil Gaiman’s comic book series of the same name. “The Sandman” has become a huge hit with viewers and critics alike despite its extensive fantastical themes and source material that had long proven to be unadaptable. Similar to the books, the television series follows Dream (Tom Sturridge), the embodiment of dreams, as he makes an effort to regain his stolen property after spending decades behind bars.

The first episode of The Sandman,” like many fantasy programs, is largely devoted to setting up the universe of the show. After introducing the performance with a voiceover, Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) immediately captures Dream using an ancient technique. Burgess, a grieving father, had been seeking to apprehend Death in order to demand that his deceased son be brought back to life. Dream is confined in a glass sphere for a significant portion of “The Sandman” episode 1 while refusing to speak. After being imprisoned for a hundred years, Dream is eventually freed and returned to the Dreaming.

Dream’s escape sequence is dissected in a new video by Netflix Geeked on Twitter to explain how practical aspects and visual effects were used to produce the breathtaking scene. The first thing the film reveals is that a surprisingly large portion of the set, including Dream’s spherical glass prison, was actually built. The real components, which included a lot of smoke and dust, were then composited with various visual effects layers to create a glowing portal. Surprisingly, Sturridge was also hung from wires in the sequence to give the impression that Dream was being hoisted into the air. Watch the eye-opening video below:

Dream’s escape scenario in the television series is strikingly similar to how it was shown in the comic books, which are “The Sandman’s” primary source of inspiration. Gaiman previously discussed how “The Sandman” could only have been produced in the era of streaming due to the show’s scope and the amount of money needed to make it work. Gaiman’s claim appears to be true given the several similarly challenging and visually gorgeous passages found in the other episodes of the show.

While some scenes in Netflix’s most recent fantasy series can plainly only be produced via visual effects, the breakdown video demonstrates how effective a combination of practical and computer-generated effects can be. The publication of additional breakdown videos for the other effects-heavy parts is uncertain, but “The Sandman” scenes like Dream’s trip to Hell and John Dee’s escape are prime candidates for such videos. It’s evident that the artists behind “The Sandman” are making every effort to create jaw-dropping images after years of failed attempts.

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