As Ghostbusters Day continues, the official Ghostbusters YouTube channel just surprised fans with a rather in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how Ghostbusters: Afterlife brought back the character of Egon Spengler.
The footage included in the vignette, for the most part, has not been publically available until today, with early test footage of a Harold Ramis’ digital double being compared next to actual scenes of both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. Fans are also treated to the rather in-depth aging process, with various images of Ramis later in his life being used as source material.
As evident in the film and today’s video, it’s pretty incredible to see just how close creative studio MPC came to replicating the appearance of the late Harold Ramis.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, director Jason Reitman spoke about the importance of making the Ramis’ digital double as accurate as possible, saying:
“So the real question was how do we pull this off? Anyone who enjoys movies has now seen examples of virtual characters that really work and virtual characters that are difficult to look at. It’s one thing to see in the middle of a movie, where it kind of comes and goes. It’s another thing if the whole climax of the movie will be decided on whether or not you believe these two people are hugging each other, that a daughter is forgiving her father and saying goodbye to him. And that these Ghostbusters, who have gone through this misunderstanding and been broken apart, get to stand next to each other one more time and bust a ghost.”
With Ramis’ passing in 2014, Reitman was in constant contact with the actor’s family, involving them within the approval process. This included them being some of the first to read the script, viewing visual concepts, and the eventual innagural viewing of the film..
“The first person that ever read the script was my father, and after my father it was the Ramis family. It was Harold’s widow, Erica, and daughter Violet, who I grew up knowing – we were both on the set of the original back in ’83. I talked to them about what we wanted to do, how we were going to do it. They came to set, and they viewed visual effects that came to the editing room. They’re the first people to ever actually see the movie. So they were part of this movie from start to finish and I think they were aware of how much I wanted to honor Harold. Egon was my favourite Ghostbuster. This is a Spengler story, and this movie is dedicated to him in every way.“
As Ghostbusters Day continues, be sure to keep checking back to our dedicated section for further updates and reveals.