The first, and perhaps more interesting of the two features, looked at the production behind the climatic Maelstrom scene. According to Verbinski, the scene didn't receive the warmest of receptions from the production crew. "Most of the time the initial response from the producers or crew, when viewing the storyboards, was that this sequence was unachievable. But when you have the best in the business working with you, and you are willing to break apart each shot into it's components, the impossible eventually becomes a reality."
The thing that surprised me the most about the sequence was how much of it was "real". While watching special effects features, I am always surprised at just how many things that I think are real turn out to be computer generated, while things that I think are computer generated are actually real.
In order to film the Maelstrom scene, two giant pirate ships were constructed in a massive soundstage. The ships that appear in the scene are real and rigged to sway like they would in the Maelstrom's wild, savage water. Both ships were surrounded by a huge blue screen where the water was later added. When asked about obstacles the scene presented, Verbinski said it was one of the production's real nail biters.