“Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that’s 80% Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie Portman.
And to be clear Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic. I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don’t want anyone to think that’s not her they are watching. It is.”
The timing of this story falls within the week in which the movie arrives on DVD. After reading the initial article, I also read the blog post on Dancer Magazine's website (http://dancemagazine.com/blogs/wendy/3741), the article featuring the quote from Portman's fiance and choreographer for the film http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/03/benjamin-millepied-on-black-swan-nataline-portman-and-his-dancing-future.html and watched the effects footage. I would not recommend watching it if you have yet to see the movie. I was going to post a link to the video, but it has been removed from YouTube due to Fox copyright. I do not see that as a sign that the controversy or claim is true, more that studios work diligently to remove any of their TV shows or movies unauthorized use. I'm sure its still out there for those who want to dig for it. My feeling with special features is that I do not want too much of the movie making magic ruined. I like to keep the fourth wall up, at least a little bit. I do not need to know how they do everything. I like my disbelief suspended.
Does this affect your experience of the movie? Do you think Hollywood should offer full disclosure or is this par for the course? After Aronofsky's statement, there seems to be little left to question.