Trumbull said of his work with Malick:-
“We worked with chemicals, paint, fluorescent dyes, smoke, liquids, CO2, flares, spin dishes, fluid dynamics, lighting and high speed photography to see how effective they might be. It was a free-wheeling opportunity to explore, something that I have found extraordinarily hard to get in the movie business. Terry didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what something should look like. We did things like pour milk through a funnel into a narrow trough and shoot it with a high-speed camera and folded lens, lighting it carefully and using a frame rate that would give the right kind of flow characteristics to look cosmic, galactic, huge and epic.”
I cannot urge you strongly enough to watch this clip, it is simply breath-taking in its beauty and majesty. Obviously the soaring operatic score helps a great deal, but the shots towards the end of what I assume are to be taken as the surface of the sun are astounding. If you want to catch up on the rest of our coverage of The Tree of Life, you can do so here.