Taking a Bigger Vampire Bite in New Fright Night
Spielberg also made an adjustment about Jerry's stage four look: "When he was all made up, he still wasn't as shocking as Steven would've liked," Bauer adds. "When they re-reviewed the original concept art, they noticed that the vampires had a shark-like mouth. They went as far as they could with prosthetics, so we took that back into a late CG build in the pipeline. For Luma, they post tracked more than a dozen shots and created a much uglier mouth for Jerry in which the jaw opens much wider and we look deep into his mouth."
But they saved the greatest amount of CG for last: Jerry's extended death sequence, which occurs in the basement of his house. Charley (Anton Yelchin) is on fire in a suit that he's made and attaches himself to Jerry and they're flying around, hitting the walls and ceiling, and ultimately it causes Jerry to go to stage five vampire, which is the only time we see that.
"There was never any practical makeup done for that so he becomes a full-CG character at that point," Bauer recalls. "So he actually gets attacked three ways: he's on fire, he gets staked and is also held in sunlight. There's some great anatomy close-up work with the stake going in the heart and then his particle-like destruction. It was a partnership between Luma and Digital Domain on some of the shots in that sequence, including the one where Jerry's vampire energy gets expelled. The energy gets released from the other vampires, swirls around the room, gets sucked into Jerry and then explodes. That frees everyone. That fire shot was created by Digital Domain. And they kept adding moments, raising the stakes, including the spirits done by Luma with Krakatoa, which provides an interesting dimensional effect in 3-D because it's very sculptural and holds odd shapes.
"We shot some practical fire elements that DD was able to use in generating the CG fire and other explosive particle elements. Fortunately, we got them right after Tron Legacy with their render and artist availability."
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and editor of VFXWorld. He has a new blog, Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com), and is currently writing a book about the evolution of James Bond from Connery to Craig, scheduled for publication next year, which is the 50th anniversary of the franchise.