New Hawkeye Video Shows Yelena's Thanos Snap VFX

By Klein Felt Updated:
Yelena Hawkeye, Thanos Snap

2021 was a banner year for the MCU, and Hawkeye was the grand finale. The series was beloved by fans of the character, as for the first time they got to see Clint Barton's Hawkeye on his own and in his element. Although he wasn't truly alone. Haliee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop stole the show, joining in on the adventure alongside Renner's Marvel mainstay. 

And the young blood did not stop there. Florence Pugh showed up for her second appearance in the MCU as Yelena Belova. Belova was first introduced in last year's Black Widow and arrived in Hawkeye with the mission of killing Clint Barton. While that ultimate goal never came to bear, Yelena did meet Kate, a duo many are hoping will continue to make waves for years to come. 

Now with some distance behind Hawkeye and the rest of the 2021 MCU slate, the creatives who made these projects have gotten to celebrate their work. Such is the case for Rise Visual Effects Studio, a group responsible for depicting one of the many shocking disappearances in the MCU's narrative.

A Look Under the Hood of Hawkeye

Rise Visual Effects Studio, who worked on last year's Hawkeye, released a new reel showcasing their work on the MCU show, giving fans a look at how shots like Yelena Belova's snap came to be. 

The breakdown of the aforementioned Snap sequence shows off how the effect team made this scene happen. It looks as though the film crew shot a version with Florence Pugh looking in a mirror, then rendered the dusted version of the young hero on top of the practical reflection:

Hawkeye Yelena Snap VFX
Rise Visual Effects Studio

The other shot featuring Pugh's Yelena is one of her wearing her iconic green goggles. The Rise team actually made those goggles come to life, as this scene was shot with a black plastic mask that was greened up in post-production:

Hawkeye Yelena Mask VFX
Rise Visual Effects Studio

The last of the Hawkeye shots spotlighted showcases the skyline work the VFX team did. As is evident, Rise had to add an entire skyline into the background of the Central Park shots:

Hawkeye NYC VFX
Rise Visual Effects Studio

See the full video breakdown below:


Assembling an Avenger

While fans gawked at sequences in Hawkeye such as the Yelena snap scene, it is incredibly cool to see how the sausage gets made. These behind-the-scenes looks almost make one appreciate these mega-blockbuster projects even more. 

What may look as simple on-screen as a pair of green night-vision goggles or a city skyline is anything but. What the audience can take for granted at points in actuality take hours of manpower to get just right for the big and small screen - and that is pretty special. 

There is not a ton to glean within this breakdown; it is just a studio that is proud of the blood, sweat, and tears they put in to make this happen. It would be cool to see a longer piece featuring all the effects houses who worked on Hawkeyto determine just how much visual effects work went into making this magic happen. 

And that is exactly the thing: these are not some of the more bombastic scenes in the arrow-splaying Disney+ series. So, there is surely plenty more in this VFX gold mine to explore. 

Hawkeye can be streamed in its entirety now on Disney+.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.