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DIVE VFX Shine in Let Me In

Director Matt Reeves tapped DIVE to manage and execute 87 visual effects shots for Exclusive Media/Hammer Films “Let Me In”, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13 and opens nationally on October 1.

Press Release from DIVE

PHILADELPHIA, PA— Director Matt Reeves tapped DIVE to manage and execute 87 visual effects shots for Exclusive Media/Hammer Films “Let Me In”, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13 and opens nationally on October 1.

DIVE (www.divevisual.com), the Visual Effects, DI and Film Finishing company whose recent credits include John Hillcoat’s “The Road” and Doug Liman’s “Fair Game”, worked with Reeves (“Cloverfield”) to articulate key scenes that are as beautifully rendered as they are horrifying.

The adaptation of the John Ajvide Lindqvist novel “Let The Right One In” stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road”) and Chloë Grace Moretz (“Kickass”.) The film follows a lonely 12 year-old Owen and his developing relationship with new neighbor Abby. Their bond strengthens even as Abby’s true nature is revealed and her attachment to her caretaker father fades.

Tone of the TaleDIVE VFX Supervisor Mark Forker and his team handled crucial shots within the film upon which the narrative hinges. Reeves’ film unwinds beautifully, in part because of his choice of long takes for the opening and closing scenes. For the film’s earliest moments DIVE transformed the high New Mexico desert into a haunting wintery landscape beneath layers of CG snow to help set the somber tone of the film. CG snow and breath are added throughout the film pulled from practically shot breath elements and DIVE’s 3D snow system.

The final shot of the film—1600 frames in length—was shot on a stationary train using poor-man’s process with blue screen outside of the window.  The scene would ultimately need to signify the main character’s transformation as he heads off on his new journey.

“The challenge was to retain all of the environmental detail of the practical dew on the train’s window and to maintain Smit-McPhee’s reflection in the glass which was the Director’s chief concern,” says Ed Mendez, DIVE’s Compositing Supervisor. The shot was tracked to extract all of the detail inherent to the foreground plate and then those details were married to the backgrounds. As the final shot of the film, which lasts for longer than a minute, the results needed to be flawless.  

Beauty and BloodIn addition to blood enhancements, rig removal, a variety of blue screen composites and a crowd replication built from multiple plates, DIVE also developed the look of Addy as she transforms into a vampire.

“I wanted Addy to look almost as though she was a person with a condition that is rather urgent, instead of a caricature,” says Forker. The team at DIVE crafted an impressive but restrained look by removing Abby’s hair, creating throbbing veins, and also darkening the skin around her eyes, augmenting the actor’s features with digital makeup.

In one scene Abby’s father is burned by acid, losing his nose, cheek and half of his mouth. The scene demanded treatment of the actor as well as his surroundings.

Forker tapped long time collaborators Invisible Pictures to help with the CG face replacement shots required for the film. 3D modeling and skeletal scans of the actual actor in make-up began the process so that parts of the face could be subtracted while digital prosthetics created the inner and outer "half-mouth".  

All scenes involving the actor from that point required extensive texturing, lighting and rigging, while profile shots required removing the damaged parts of the face from the scene and adding the background footage where the actor’s face used to be.  DIVE handled the final composites, placing the character back into the hospital scene where CG snow continues to fall.

In addition to its domestic opening on October 1, “Let Me In” also headlined at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX on September 23.

About DIVE:Based in Philadelphia, PA, DIVE (www.divevisual.com), is the visual effects, DI and film finishing division of Shooters Post & Transfer, led by veteran Visual Effects Supervisor Mark O. Forker. As one of the east coast’s premier post production facilities for film finishing services, DIVE offers filmmakers the opportunity to complete Visual Effects, Digital Intermediates and Titles by coupling creative continuity with an integrated workflow. For more information contact DIVE VP Business Development Bob Lowery bob@divevisual.com or Executive Producer Andy Williams andy@divevisual.com at 267.514.7700.

CREDITS:Additional Visual Effects by DIVE

Visual Effects Supervisor        Marko ForkerVisual Effects Executive Producer     Andy WilliamsVP of Development            Bob LoweryVisual Effects Producer             Korey CauchonCompositing Supervisor         Ed MendezDigital Production Manager         John-Michael TrojanVisual Effects Coordinator        Tom QuinnVisual Effects Editor             Bryan BakerVisual Effects Editorial Assistant    Travis CapaceteVisual Effects Colorist         Rob GiglioProduction Assistant             Lucas AndreiIntern                            Michael Morse Lead 3D Artist             Jeremy FernslerMatchmove Artist               Nick JushchyshynDigital Compositor             Tim BowmanDigital Compositor             Sean CoonceDigital Compositor              Kristen MilletteDigital Compositor             Anton MossDigital Compositor              Craig WhitakerMatte Painter                Shannan BurkleyPaint / Roto Artist                Ruben RodasPaint / Roto Artist               Crystle Schrecengost

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