March 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT

Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi spectacular from last year, was widely praised for its visionary use of special effects to imagine far-off planets, and a dessicated future Earth. The film, which was featured on the cover of TIME in November, won an Oscar for its visual effects last month.

Those visual effects weren’t just CGI. As this exclusive video shows, the process of creating the dust storms that bedevil earthbound Jessica Chastain was laborious, focused on the movements of the wind and the tossing of very real dust.

The dust storms, and all the rest of Interstellar‘s imaginings of a dystopian future, will be available to view on Blu-Ray and DVD March 31.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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