The Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann explained how they shot the iconic giraffe scene. The Last of Us is one of the biggest TV shows of 2023, if not the biggest, and it seems like it will stay on track to hold that title for most of the year unless there’s some huge, surprise hit in the coming months. It has so many iconic moments that fans immediately fell in love with and a lot of those moments come from the critically acclaimed 2013 game of the same name. Whether that be Sarah’s death, Ellie’s battle with David, or something else, all of it helps inform the characters and the world around them. One of the most iconic moments from the game is a very, very simple one where Joel and Ellie encounter some giraffes in the wild. Ellie is able to see a beautiful piece of nature that is otherwise unseen on their journey and it’s something that comes to her at her lowest point.
Some fans online criticized the moment in the HBO series as it looked like the giraffe was CG, but it turns out… it was a real giraffe Speaking on a podcast with Kinda Funny, series creator Neil Druckmann talked about how the show was able to get a real giraffe on The Last of Us series. Speaking about how it’s much easier to add a giraffe into your game, he noted that they had to overcome this logistical obstacle and opted to create a blue screen environment in the Calgary zoo for the giraffe to be in. Essentially, they brought the show to the giraffe instead of bringing it to set. He noted there were VFX elements with this sequence, but they did indeed work with a real giraffe.
It is rather impressive how much of The Last of Us was done practically. Although there were VFX elements added with monsters, set pieces, and locations, the team behind the show was able to replicate this post-apocalyptic world in real life with a huge budget. Season 2 will likely have a lot of big practical sets as well given how dense and detailed Seattle is in the second game, but we’ll just have to see where it goes.
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