Double Negative recently completed vfx work of 190 shots on the new action comedy HOT FUZZ, which went straight to the top of the U.K. and Ireland box office chart in its opening weekend ended Feb. 18, 2007. The film opens April 13 in the U.S.
Having previously worked with the team on the smash, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, Double Negative couldn't resist a second collaboration. HOT tells the story of supercop Nick Angel (Simon Pegg), a London policeman who is so good at his job he makes the rest of the force look incompetent; to save embarrassment his bosses decide to relocate him to a sleepy country village. The overachiever has trouble reconciling himself to his new surroundings, but is soon investigating a string of gruesome deaths.
Visual effects supervisor, Richard Briscoe and visual effects producer Steve Garrad led the Double Negative team. The work itself was an eclectic selection of vfx shots, from explosions with CG elements, matte paintings, compositing and lots of blood and gore enhancement. Blood and gore added a lot to the shot count, which was in keeping with director Edgar Wright's mantra: "There's no such thing in my vocabulary as over the top!"
Apart from the to-be-expected addition of blood and gore to various gruesome murders, the script called for two major explosions, one day and one night. The night-time explosion of a house was made up of a the real house element, fire elements shot in front of the house, additional fire elements, CG shattering glass and window frames. It was key that the explosion was big enough to cover the house, as the script called for it to be obliterated and the next shot was a daytime matte painting of the scene of the house raised to the ground.
The daytime explosion of the police station used an exploding miniature (supplied by Artem), which was composited into a live-action plate of the location, over the real building and enhanced with a great many smoke and dust elements. In the aftermath shots for this explosion, rubble, smoke and falling paper were added to make the scene "bigger." Said Briscoe, "Much of our work was in adding 'value' to what had been shot on set."
Wright and Pegg were inspired to make HOT FUZZ by a series of action movies such as HARD BOILED and BAD BOYS; in keeping with that genre, HOT FUZZ is full of high-octane police action and car chases. One such car chase included a swan called Elvis. Elvis had to be composited into many shots in this sequence, including a shot where a police car comes careening to a halt in front of the swan.
Garrad commented, "HOT FUZZ was a great little project to work on, and, of course, by saying 'little' we ended up working with three other London facilities on finishing 300 shots in an incredibly compressed timeframe..."
Since its formation in 1998, Double Negative (www.dneg.com) has firmly established itself as a leading player in visual effects production worldwide. Located in the heart of London's Soho, the company is a pre-eminent visual effects studio with more than 60 feature films to its credit. Led by managing director Alex Hope and ceo Matt Holben, Double Negative is capable of handling projects from initial design through on-set supervision and production to post-production.