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'Beasts of the Southern Wild': Training Pigs to Pull Off Special Effects — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Dec 06, 2012 | 12:08pm EST

beasts of the southern wild aurochs

Beasts of the Southern Wild surprised Sundance audiences this past winter, not just with its emotional story or raw performances, but also its unprecedented production value. The world of the film — a New Orleans-esque bayou called "The Bathtub" — is overflowing with personality, its occupants as colorful and lively as the world around them. The central character, six-year-old Hushpuppy (this year's big breakout Quvenzhané Wallis), runs about the Bathtub, soaking in the handcrafted homes and living off the earth. The experience informs every facet of her life — even her nightmares.

One of the most surprising elements of the film is Hushpuppy's dreams of "Aurochs," prehistoric boar creatures that trample everything in their wake. The beasts are fully realized — a special effect that would be awe-inspiring in a modern blockbuster and are even more so in a Sundance indie. As the film screened across the country this year, director Benh Zeitlin was mum on how his team pulled off the spectacle — until now.

In this exclusive clip from the Q&A conducted for EPIX and LA Times' Envelope Screening Series for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zeitlin (accompanied by young actress Wallis) describes the miraculous process of breeding pigs to star in the film's moments of animal grandeur:

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Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches

[Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight]

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