Are the Sets in Squid Game The Challenge Real or CGI?

Image Credit: Pete Dadds/Netflix

Among the many reasons why the fans of ‘Squid Game‘ have found ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ worth watching, the production effort is undoubtedly up there. After all, the various games played in the two shows provide some of the most captivating moments despite the genre difference. Given that the original Korean series was produced with a healthy dose of CGI along with some marvelously constructed sets, fans cannot help but wonder just how the reality series was made. Are all the sets seen in the show as true as they seem, or have the showmakers used special effects to make them similar to their inspiration? These are some of the many questions that the public wants answered.

Squid Game: The Challenge Sets Are Real

As it turns out, most of the backdrops seen in ‘Squid Game: The Challenge‘ are indeed as they appear to be with minimal CGI work. The sets for the show were constructed in London, England, at two separate locations. The game of Red Light Green Light was actually organized on a specially built set in the Cardington Studios located at Hangar 2, Cardington Airfield, Bedford, in London. The rest of the sets were made at six sound stages in Barking, London.

The work done to make these stages was undertaken by Studio Lambert, along with the help of The Garden. Stephen Lambert, who helped establish the former company, shared with Deadline how the sets for the reality show were seen by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the man who created the original ‘Squid Game’ show. Apparently, after Dong-hyuk saw the sets, he could not help but state, “Oh my god, you actually built it all for real,” to Lambert, emphasizing that the sets for all the games and other locations were indeed built in real life.

Moreover, as per The Guardian, a group of journalists even visited the set of the reality show shortly before its release to compete in their own version of the game, though apparently with no prize to compete for. Given the tidbits shared by Guardian’s Rhik Samadder, the set is quite true to inspiration, though he does mention the various cameras placed in multiple locations, something that we do not get to see in the reality show.

As such, it does seem fair to say that the sets for ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ are as accurate as they can be. From the dormitory in which the contestants sleep to the arenas where larger-than-life simulations of childhood games decide one’s fate, almost everything in the reality show was constructed from scratch in an accurate mimicry of the world that ‘Squid Game’ introduced us to. Additionally, the props and sets used for the original elements of the spinoff show were also likely constructed in their entirety instead of using CGI.

Of course, if one were to look into the most minute of the details, there is indeed some level of added after-effects used to make the show look more like its Korean counterpart. One of the most obvious examples of the use of after-effects in post-production is perhaps the “motion detection system” used in Red Light Green Light. The tracking screen that viewers are showcased in ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ is indeed quite engaging and fascinating, but a clear example of the use of after-effects.

Moreover, a certain amount of CGI might have been used to touch up the raw footage in order to make it seem more similar to the backdrops that are so familiar to the ‘Squid Game’ fans. However, for the most part, the showmakers have constructed real sets for every possible scenario, which certainly adds to the overall quality of the series. While the locations mirroring the original show are undoubtedly exciting, the original constructions have also not failed to impress the viewers.

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