blog Chimney Haymaker Interviews The Dead Don't Die VFX Producer VFX Supervisor

THE DEAD DON’T DIE: Alex Hansson (Founder & VFX Supervisor at Haymaker) with Andreas Hylander (Founder & VFX Producer of Chimney Gothenburg)

Earlier than blasting zombie heads for Jim Jarmush for THE DEAD DON’T DIE, Alex Hansson took care of the visual results of films comparable to CHAPPAQUIDDICK, BORG MCENROE and MONKY. He’s the founder of the studio Haymaker.

Andreas Hylander has worked in visible results for over twenty years. He has labored on many movies like CENTURION, THE ZERO THEOREM, CHAPPAQUIDDICK and BORG MCENROE and he is the founder of Chimney Gothenburg.

What’s your background?
I’m the founder and proprietor of Haymaker, a visual effects company based mostly in Gothenburg, Sweden. (We’ll quickly be opening our doorways in L.A). I started out by directing and creating results driven music videos for the Swedish heavy metallic scene within the early 2000’s, this turned out to be the most effective schooling conceivable as I used to be capable of experiment with something that I might come up with. From there I moved on to doing work on commercials and eventually I was capable of land my firm’s first function movie approx. 7 years in the past.

How did you and Chimney become involved on this show?
Andreas // Haymaker have been subcontracted by way of Chimney. At Chimney New York our co-producer Fredrik Zander helped Animal Kingdom (producer) with a post-plan set-up that may work for the VFX with out hindering the necessity for back-and-forth design meetings. By utilizing Haymaker’s great expertise with VFX and at the identical time use the agile and multitalented VFX-team at Chimney New York we came up with an excellent work cut up. In Gothenburg we designed and executed the zombie-shots, and New York handled all of the curious other VFX-shots that are aplenty in this movie (300+ photographs. Since Jim and Affonso Gonçalves (editor) have been modifying the movie at Chimney’s New York’s amenities, he might any day stroll over to the VFX-team in New York if there have been any questions.

What was your feeling to work with iconic director Jim Jarmush and particularly on a zombie film?
Jim Jarmush is such a gifted director, as well as being one of the nicest individuals I ever had the opportunity to satisfy. With the ability to decapitate over 50 Zombies by the palms of a terrific forged… It was a dream come true!

How was the collaboration with director Jim Jarmush?
I couldn’t have requested for a better collaboration, each on set and in the course of the submit work. Jim is the type of Director who could be very open minded and need you to exit of the field and suggest new and fascinating ideas as an alternative of being locked in on what may need been the thought from the beginning.

What was his expectations and strategy concerning the visual effects?
Jim had some primary concepts of what he was in search of, but aside from that he relied on me to return up with ideas on easy methods to shoot the plates in addition to bringing him recent concepts on the perfect methods to design the consequences.

How did you manage the work?
Andreas // Since we had two teams working – one in Gothenburg and one in New York – we had to ensure we have been all the time on schedule and that both teams met the deadlines. Financially it was a set-up involving the very proactive film fund “Film i Väst” who operates within the west part of Sweden and loves these varieties of tasks. It also involved our set-up in New York with their respective wants. The rebids and cut-changes have been dealt with very clean and by no means really obtained in the best way of doing great VFX, which was a welcomed shock.

How did you cut up the work amongst you and between the Haymaker and Chimney workplaces?
Haymaker was in charge of the Zombie-beheadings, UFO and digital crowds. Chimney New York dealt with for example all the bluescreen car-shots (there were rather a lot!), digital birds, all of the moon-shots, the POV binocular-shots and a number of other speed-ramps. Also all the last-minute concepts that stored coming in, I feel the final one was a certain “angel dust”-effect surrounding Selena Gomez head.

Are you able to explain intimately concerning the weird facet of the Moon?
Andreas // This can be a design that Sam O’Hare of Chimney New York got here up with. The weird purple/blue mist and clouds, and the creepy approach it spins (moons don’t normally spin all that a lot) have been all concepts that Jim favored right away. It obtained refined through-out the shot-production part but the primary concepts remained intact. These photographs have been additionally essential to hyperlink the zombies much more to the environmental focus of the movie – that it’s man-made pure disasters that’s inflicting the zombies to seem.

The film is sort of gory. How did you improve this facet?
Most of the gore within the film have been finished with practical results by Michael Marinos group. However a couple of sequences required VFX, such because the scene have been Selena’s head is dangling from Adam Driver’s hand post-decapitation.

There’s an fascinating impact when the zombies will get hits on the heads. How did you design it?
Right after the first assembly I had with Jim in N.Y where he informed me about his concept of the Zombies being crammed with mud. Additionally described as “dry, rotted wood”. I went again residence to Sweden and did RnD with my self as a zombie. I proposed some concepts on the design and he appreciated it instantly. My workforce stored refining and enhancing the setup all the best way as much as shot-production.

Are you able to explain in detail concerning the numerous decapitations and zombies killing?
Since there are so many Zombies getting their heads eliminated, I needed to return up with numerous ideas on the right way to decapitate them, to combine it up so it wouldn’t feel repetitive. Totally different approaches, just like the heads not all the time getting reduce or blown of at the neck line, however as an alternative half the top being blown off with the jaw still flapping for example. One zombie had his bottom jaw still principally intact after a shotgun blast, which made for a really comical impact as he went down with the remaining of the top lacking.

How did you create the varied digital doubles and their heads?
We scanned all the stunt-actors/actors on set, proper after they the place accomplished with their particular scenes in order that make-up facial expressions and so forth. would match as shut as attainable to minimise additional work within the submit process. The scans where later refined and digital hair was added. The actors bodily movement at the time of the beheadings where manually match-animated and the lighting was achieved utilizing HDRI in combination with LIDAR from the set survey.

What was the primary challenges with the zombies killing?
To design variations and blend it up sufficient so that it will not feel repetitive.

Are you able to inform us more concerning the setting work and especially when the city is on hearth?
Andreas // There were no city on hearth in this movie ? Most of the environments have been filmed as-is. Nevertheless, quite a bit of the fabric was shot in the course of the day, to have a day-for-night look. But while modifying it was discovered – and early grade-tests confirmed this – that many scenes would profit from a brand new sky. Hence we ended up doing so much of sky-replacements each in Gothenburg and New York. Fred Elmes (DOP) had very particular concepts which helped quite a bit.

Instantly a flying saucer makes an entrance. How did you design and create it?
Jim needed the flying saucer to be old skool, like the previous 1930’s scifi films. We added a contemporary contact to it, by bringing in parts and textures reminiscent of volumetric lights and smoke.

Did you acquired particular references and indications for the flying saucer?
Sure, we obtained some stills from previous sci-fi films.

Can you tell us extra concerning the shaders and textures work?
All the dust results/volumetric lights and digital crowds the place completed in Houdini and rendered with Mantra. The digital doubles where animated and rendered in Maya utilizing Vray. The complete compositing pipeline was based mostly on deep, so both Mantra and Vray renders where rendered with a deep output. Relating to the textures of the doubles, typically we acquired away with utilizing digital camera projection from the actual plate, other occasions we used the textures from the scans. All of it trusted the precise shot.

How did you animate the flying saucer and Tilda Swinton?
Primary keyframe animation. This was the truth is one of the sequences that required a bit back-and-forth, once we designed how Tilda would transcend into the flying saucer. Jim needed it to be clear that she was not a human, however at the same time not be made in the identical manner as the zombies. We came up with a kind of hologram-look based mostly on full physique scans we had of Tilda which Jim ended up liking so much.

Which sequence or shot was probably the most difficult?
I have to say that it was the scene where Tilda’s character is chopping the heads of the ”golfers” at the funeral house. The reason being that it was deliberate and shot to have the heads falling backwards, however as soon as in modifying Jim thought it might be funnier if the heads would fall in entrance in the direction of the digital camera as an alternative. Since this was not planned and no practical results was carried out to make this work we had do do quite a bit of trial and error before we nailed it.

Is there something specific that provides you some actually brief nights?
That’s every night time when being on this business, isn’t it? ?

What is your favourite shot or sequence?
It’s the scene the place Tilda Swinton’s character has just arrived at the cemetery and is getting attacked by two of the undead. That shot ended up exactly how we deliberate it. I keep in mind sitting next to Jim watching on set while Tilda was swinging her katana. She nailed it on the primary take. Jim and I seemed at each other and stated ”F*ck yeah, that’s it!” Followed by a excessive five. ?

What is your greatest reminiscence on this show?
There are such a lot of good reminiscences, but I have to say it was to work with and getting to know the cinematic genius master Jim. A true honor.

How long have you labored on this present?
From getting the primary telephone call concerning the undertaking until we delivered the final shot, I was on for 10 months (7 days/week no exceptions :))

What’s the VFX photographs rely?
85 in Gothenburg. Not so much, but every shot was fairly difficult. In New York around 300 photographs, but much faster ones.

An enormous thanks on your time.

Haymaker: Devoted page about THE DEAD DON’T DIE on Haymaker web site.
Chimney: Official web site of Chimney.

© Vincent Frei – The Artwork of VFX – 2019