Going Beyond the Edge of Darkness
Edge of Darkness is noteworthy not only for Mel Gibson's return to acting after directing Apocalypto and The Passion of the Christ, but also for Martin Campbell coming full circle after his breakout direction of the acclaimed '85 miniseries.
Kent Houston of Peerless Camera has collaborated with Campbell for a decade and found this experience perhaps a little more personal for the director, who labored for years to make a feature-length version of this powerful story about a police detective investigating the murder of his daughter and uncovering enviro-terrorism in the process. But, like The Lovely Bones, the heart of the movie is about a grief stricken father tragically getting closer to his daughter in death.
Transplanted from Britain to Boston, the opening packs a wallop, as we witness the slaying of Emma Craven (Bojana Novakovic) on her father's front doorstep (Gibson plays Craven).
"The murder of the daughter was a combination of practical and CG," Houston explains. "They had the girl in a cable and pulled her very hard through the door. And to allow the cable to exit her back and the door to fly open, the door has a section missing in the raw footage and has been rebuilt in Maya and the glass is replaced. All the flying glass is CG; and the glass that lands on the floor is partly real and partly CG. And there's quite a bit of harness and cable removal work.
"The blood is a mixture of some practical and then some put on in post. What we did for the blood is actually painted. We used Curious paint for that, which is then tracked on. The glass on that was Maya. And the comping for those particular shots was done with Shake. For comping, most of the show was done with Flame and Inferno.
In fact, there is a lot of blood in the movie: "Martin is quite gory," adds the visual effects supervisor. "There's quite another interesting shot, which is when her nose first starts to bleed at her dad's house, and that is CG blood coming out of her nose and on her finger. It was XSI for the nose and the stuff for the finger is actually, again, Curious paint and then tracked on."