DIRECTOR : Yórgos Lánthimos
PRODUCTION : Element Pictures / Scarlet Films
NUMBER OF SHOTS : 51
- Jury Prize - Festival de Cannes 2015
Director : Yórgos Lánthimos
Production : Elements Pictures / Scarlet Films – 2014
Number of VFX shots : 51
VFX supervisor : Olivier Cauwet
VFX producer : Kristina Prilukova
MATTE PAINTINGS - 2 SHOTS
For these two shots, BUF's work consisted of integration of a modern city space on a live plate.
For the first shot, the director wanted to create the impression that the action takes place in the suburbs of a modern city. The city had to be futuristic, but anonymous, without any recognizable buildings. Therefore, BUF was asked to add a skyline background on a filmed plate.
In the second shot, we follow a driving truck on a road with only a few buildings. The director wanted it to look like a road leaving the city, and see progressively disappearing buildings on both sides on the road.
First, BUF worked on some 2D mock-ups to define the design of the buildings and the look of the city in both shots. On the basis of the chosen design, BUF created 2D and 3D buildings, which were integrated into the live plate. The main challenge was to find convenient buildings and a realistic lighting, so that it would match with the live plate and look completely natural. The second shot was also tricky, as the buildings had to be closer, and all details and reflections had to be more visible.
To make the city look completely anonymous, BUF was also asked to clean all road signs on the second shot.
SET EXTENSIONS - 4 SHOTS
BUF made four set extensions for a sequence, where we see a big hotel in the background (2 large views/2 close-ups). In fact, the filmed hotel had only one wing on left side and did not seem big enough for the director. Therefore, BUF integrated another wing on the right side of the hotel, and removed some trees to make it more visible.
BLOOD SHOTS - 8 SHOTS
Different types of shots required creation of various blood effects.
- CG Blood splatter (1 shot)
In this shot, we see a woman being punched in the face several times. Practical blood of her face was not enough to show the effect the director wished to have. Therefore, BUF added some CG blood coming out from her mouth every time she was hit. Also, red marks were added on her cheek after every punch to emphasize the impact. The blood simulation had to remain realistic as well as to match with the practical blood from set.
- Expanding blood (1 shot)
In a shot of the movie, we see a woman on the ground with a small puddle of blood around her head. We understand that she has just committed suicide by jumping out of the window. To make the scene more believable and give the impression that the impact just happened, we added the blood moving slowly away from her head, according to director's guidelines.
- Knifing scenes (6 shots)
In two different sequences, different people are stabbed with a knife.
In the first one, a man is stabbed in his leg with a kitchen knife. Based on the references received from production, we modeled a CG knife, which was then integrated into the shot with the blood coming out of the wound. Some blood was also added on the CG knife.
The second knifing scene consists of five consecutive shots, where a blind woman stabs another someone in the stomach. To make the sequence look realistic, we needed to work on the following effects:
- CG Blade
As a live blade could not be used on shooting for knifing scenes, BUF needed to create another CG blade, based on the references chosen by the director.
- Blood on characters
As the aggressor stabs the victim in the stomach, we needed to see a little blood spurt coming out of it, then the blood stain getting bigger on her shirt as she falls down, and some blood running on her fingers as she holds her wound. After this, BUF added blood on both characters' hands after the aggression, taking in account the continuity of the sequence.
The most meticulous task was to track and rotoscope the hands in order to add the blood on it, as they were moving a lot and every imperfection would have been visible.
GORE SHOTS - 2 SHOTS
In these shots, we see a man on the ground, his leg stuck in an artificial bear trap shot live.
The director wanted the live trap to look more rigid and less plastic, and for BUF to add some gore effect to the leg, which was not looking damaged enough.
We first stabilized the trap and made it look more metal and stuck in the leg. Then, we opened up the jean as if it had been torn apart by the trap, and added some wounded flesh into the hole. The practical blood of the shooting was enhanced as well to make the jeans look more soaked in blood.
DARTGUN SHOTS - 11 SHOTS
In various scenes of the movie people are shot by a gun which fires a tranquilizer dart in order to sedate them.
These shots can be separated in two categories:
- Darts flying in the forest, interacting with trees
In these shots, we see a dart coming out of the gun, flying through the forest and interacting with trees. As the darts flies through the foliage, the director asked us to add some flying CG branches and leaves to enhance the impact.
- Darts landing on people
In some shots we see darts landing on people and interacting with their shoulders, legs or chest. It was tricky to track these parts of the body without any trackers, as the victim was often falling down and moving a lot.
To work on these shots, we asked the production to shoot the darts and smoke separately on a black background. Then, BUF created CG darts, based on photo references provided by production. The shot smoke and CG darts were integrated into the live plate. As we see some sparks inside the darts where the interaction happens, we also used these live elements to improve our CG dart.
COMPOSING SHOTS - 16 SHOTS
- Burning hand (1 shot)
In this shot, we see a man being forced to burn his hand in a bread toaster. Naturally, the toaster was turned off on the shooting. Thus, BUF was asked to add the rising smoke in post-production. To achieve this effect, BUF shot some burning bread in a toaster on a black screen. This smoke pass was composited with the original shot, making the interaction look absolutely believable.
- Boat duplication (10 shots)
The action of these shots takes place in a hotel facing a bay. The director wanted to see three boats in the background, which was not possible to be done during shooting. Boats were shot on a separate plate. Based on director's indications, BUF integrated these boats into the shots. The integration had to remain realistic, without betraying that they were taken from another plate.
- Blood dripping from bag (4 shots)
In this sequence, we see a man walking through the forest with a bloody bag. Director wanted to see blood drops dripping from it, which was not possible to be perfectly filmed during shooting. Therefore, the production organized a second shoot; to shoot convenient blood drops on a green screen. The bag's angle, movement and also texture had to be similar to the original shot, and a correct thickness of the blood had to be found as well.
Based on these plates, BUF composited blood drops with the original plate, dripping randomly from the bag as the actor walks around the forest. In one of the shots, we also added blood dripping from a dead rabbit.
- Donkey replacement (1 shot)
The desired scenario of this scene was the following: a woman comes out of the car, sees two donkeys and shoots one of them, who falls down and stays on the ground, not moving.
The problem was that it's complicated to train the donkeys to act and fall exactly as needed.
Thus, BUF recommended shooting this scene in two takes. The first pass was the acting plate, with the car, actress, convenient lighting etc. The second plate included only the falling donkey, pulled down with a rope. The post-production work consisted in re-positioning this falling donkey at the end of the shot, after removing the donkey from the first acting plate. This involved complex compositing work because all the weather and lighting effects of the donkey plate had to be matched with acting plate, in order to make the integration look completely natural.
MISCELLANEOUS SHOTS - 9 SHOTS
- Dead dog (1 shot)
In this shot, we see a dog lying on floor with a lot of blood around him. The director wanted us to assure that the dog looked completely immobile. Thus, we immobilized his body to avoid any possible movement, and added a veiling to his eyes to make them look completely lifeless.
- Restore shots (8 shots)
Various shots required removal of some inconvenient elements, such as: the genitals of a male donkey in order to make him look like a female, publicity signs, reflections in mirrors. In two shots, we also changed the room number on a hotel room door.