VFX Legion crafted more than 170 effects for Totally Killer, director Nahnatchka Khan’s horror-comedy from Amazon MGM Studios and Blumhouse Television.
The comedic time-traveling thriller follows Jamie (Kiernan Shipka/Mad Men) whose mom, Pam (Julie Bowen/Modern Family), is terrorized by the resurgence of the Sweet Sixteen Killer — a masked maniac who slaughtered a group of girls in 1987 on Halloween.
Jamie, her friend Amelia (Kelcey Mawema/Superman and Lois), and the teen version of her mom (Olivia Holt/Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger) travel back in time 35 years, determined to stop the would-be killer before the murder spree begins.
Totally Killer relied on Legion to seamlessly alter the practical footage with a wide range of invisible effects, including multiple green screens, crowd duplication, dynamics, extensions, enhanced camera movement, rig removal, tracking, painting, and composition.
CG knife blades covered with blood, digital removal of blood-filled prosthetics, and enhanced wounds are among the effects that heighten the visceral impact of the most bone-chilling moments in the gory Halloween tale.
Artists helped create the authentic look and nostalgic vibe of the 1980s, digitally deleting and replacing objects captured by the camera that were out of place in the bygone era. 3D tracking in SynthEyes enabled compositors to align elements with practical footage on Nuke.
Legion’s workload dramatically increased after shooting schedules ware rearranged to accommodate actors unable to be on set due to the strict mitigation efforts in the early days of the pandemic. Cinematographer Judd Overton and his crew met the challenge, continuing the shoot without the talent and wrapping the production on schedule. As cast members recovered, Overton filmed the actors in front of a green screens. Artists then replaced the backgrounds, precisely matching the performances to align with the principal photography.
The sheer volume of additional green screen effects nearly doubled Legion’s workload. Drawing from its international collective talent, VFX Legion quickly scaled up its team, delivering all the final shots on the schedule.
David Matalo, Sasha Perl-Raver, and Jen D'Angelo penned the screenplay from a story by Matalon and Perl-Raver for the Amazon original film, which debuted worldwide on October 6 on the Prime Video streaming service.
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