12 December 2012 5:00 AM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Translating the raw power of 2004′s cataclysmic Thailand tsunami to film would be an immense feat under any circumstance. But the task was all the more challenging for Félix Bergés, the visual effects supervisor of The Impossible (out in limited release on Dec. 21), who opted to skip the CGI in favor of real — read: unpredictable — water. After more than a year of testing and planning, Bergés and his team had precisely “one and a half takes” to pull off the film’s most pivotal set piece. Below, he explains the process behind the stunning, 10-minute sequence.

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