Matt Reeves Talks Let Me In
And so when I brought that idea to Brad [Parker, the visual effects supervisor], he brought to me a bunch of YouTube videos of people actually recording themselves in the car flipping. And there was one, in particular, and he had one of those security cams on the dash and you're watching him as he begins nodding off. And you can see the horizon out the windows start to turn a little bit and he wakes up and literally in an instant, because the camera's mounted on the dash and completely locked off, you see him defy gravity and spin around and in an instant he's up on the roof. And it is so visceral and it turned out that the guy was OK, and I said to Brad let's do that: I don't want anything to prepare you for that moment, which is startling.
MR: The animation was a real challenge. What I wanted was for things to be moving as seamlessly out of Chloë [Grace Moretz] footage as much as possible. And I wanted it to be shot in angles that had some distance so that it would have an uncanny kind of side to it. And so most of the shots where she goes up the tree are her, and then we go to a transition and the idea was to give her the ability to do things that a person can't do.
BD: What was your approach to the bedridden vampire victim?
MR: Originally, I envisioned that as a single shot, kind of like the car sequence, and that would've involved CG on a level that was beyond our price range. We were a low-budget movie and this was a launching for the new independent Hammer company, and we didn't have a lot of resources. Fortunately, I had Brad, who is brilliant. And so we had to do it with real fire, which, on the one hand, I really, really like, but it limits you. There, unlike the car scene, I was forced to cut. So then it became cutting it into pieces and we used some real fire and supplemented with a cyber scan of the actress, so that we could have her skin literally decay in the light. And our thought was that she should almost be like a hot dog and her skin would start to split from the inside. And I think Method did a great job in creating something horrific [in CG] given our limited resources.
BD: What about the challenge of doing the jungle gym scene indoors?
MR: Really, we have about 200 visual effects shots and I'm hoping you don't recognize [a lot of them]. And the jungle gym scene was a part of that too. I wanted to do something intimate with their performances and I didn't feel that being out in the bitter cold was going to be the best way to get [that]. Some of it we shot within the actual cold and once you establish the world, then the idea is that you already know what it looks like and if you can give a faithful enough reproduction of it, then you won't question it again. What we ended up building in a very unique way was essentially a large photo drop of it and then cut up pieces of it and made it two-dimensional, and then actually affixed the same kind of source lights that are on the actual set.
BD: What are we to make of the ending?