DC's mega-hit #WonderWoman wasn't just a treat for moviegoers who appreciate a good story, but was also a feast for the eyes. Over the course of its two hour run, Wonder Woman showcased expertly choreographed action sequences and super-powered fighting while boasting some of the greatest visual treats the superhero genre has to offer. Given how much time and effort went into realizing the numerous fight scenes in Wonder Woman, audiences may be surprised to hear that the hardest scene to shoot wasn't Diana Prince's (Gal Gadot) defiant charge through No Man's Land. In fact, it has recently been revealed that the film's extravagant dance number was the hardest scene to shoot.
Ballroom Blitz: 'Wonder Woman's Most Challenging Scene
In an interview conducted by Uproxx, Donna Dickens asked Wonder Woman's director of photography Matthew Jensen about the most difficult sequence to film. Jensen then shared an anecdote about how the ballroom scene halfway through Wonder Woman was trickier to shoot than any of the film's action scenes.
"I laugh because every day was tough, and great, but we always had a challenge. I’ll tell you that the thing that personally was the trickiest for me, and it might not be one that you would think of, is the ballroom scene where Diana dances with Ludendorff."
The setting itself, the Hatfield House, was built in 1611 and proved to be the film crew's biggest challenge. The historical English structure may have been built to house the elite, but unfortunately wasn't designed with camera crews in mind.
"It’s a very tricky location. It was a very long, beautiful, narrow hallway, essentially, that we dressed to look like a ballroom. But it was very enclosed and we wanted to see the ceiling. So that really limited where I could hide my lights, since because it’s old and historic I couldn’t really do anything to the walls or rig anything."
Further complications arose when director Patty Jenkins wanted close-up shots of the actors. To get around this problem, Jensen had a 360-degree track built around the dancers while he helped operate the dolly camera. With this in place, the difficulty was finding a way to film the actors without getting in their way.
"You’ve got [the actors] moving in sort of random intervals, and you’ve got this whole train [of people]. I mean you’ve got a dolly grip pushing the dolly, you’ve got the camera operator, you’ve got the focus puller, and we’re all trying to stay in rhythm with them."
"And then, of course, I’m riding on the back of the dolly, holding a light like a Chinese lantern on a boom pole trying to get a key light in their faces and have it move with them as they move. We were bumping into each other, we would get ahead of [the actors] on the dolly, and the light would swing around them and I was just kind of going crazy about it."
Despite the uphill battle, Jensen and his fellow filmmaker were still able to bring the ballroom sequences to the big screen in all of its majesty. The tension felt between these characters was in stark contrast to the beauty of Hatfield House. In fact, this made the events in the ballroom some of the most nerve-wracking scenes in the movie.
Jensen ended the interview by acknowledging the immense efforts of Wonder Woman's film crew. As visually impressive as Wonder Woman may have been, it would not have been as good without the film's unsung heroes, such as Jensen and his co-workers.
"I had a really good crew and they were pros. Just to hold a close-up was kind of a technical achievement."
What was your favorite scene in Wonder Woman? Share your thoughts in the comments below.