In Machete Kills, Robert Rodriguez‘s grindhouse sequel to the original Machete, Danny Trejo returns as the eponymous ex-Federale agent who is recruited by the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen, billed as Carlos Estevez) for a mission that would be impossible for any mortal man – he must take down an eccentric billionaire arms dealer (Mel Gibson) who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. Just like the storyline, the supporting cast is pretty incredible, including as it does Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr, Michelle Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Jessica Alba and Sofia Vergara.
Prime Focus World VFX artists in Vancouver and Mumbai delivered 145 VFX shots for the show.
"We love working on this kind of show," said Justin Gladden, PFW SVP, VFX Production in Vancouver. “On Machete Kills the artists had a lot of fun with the fx while working within the gritty reality of the film.”
The show started for PFW as primarily 2D compositing work, with some matte paintings of Aztec pyramids and environments, but as the job developed CG work was also added to the remit.
"The sequel follows the original's 'B-movie' aesthetic," continued Justin. "We were mainly dealing with severed heads rolling across the ground, blood splatters, muzzle flashes, destruction, debris, blade replacements, shotgun hits and meaty explosions."
One such 'over-the-top' scene in the film was the ‘inside-out’ sequence, which sees the deployment of a gun that literally turns the bad guys inside-out – entailing the incorporation of CG body parts and buckets of blood to achieve the look. The team was also required to turn a Hummer inside-out, which required them to model and rig the Hummer before folding it in on itself - pretty fun stuff that's was equally exciting to work on.
The Vancouver team, led by SVP, VFX Production Justin Gladden and Comp Lead David Lopez, worked very closely with the PFW Mumbai VFX team, which was creatively led by VFX Supervisor Shailendra Swarnkar, to deliver the 145 shots for the film.
Following the successful delivery of Machete Kills, work has started in earnest at PFW on Robert Rodriguez’s next sequel – Sin City: A Dame To Kill For – which is slated to hit the big screen in the middle of next year. To keep you going until then, don’t miss Machete Kills, which opens in US and UK theaters on 11 October 2013.
RELEASE: October 11, 2013
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Producers: Sergei Bespalov, Aaron Kaufman, Iliana Nikolic, Alexander Rodnyansky, Robert Rodriguez, Rick Schwartz
Studio / Distributor: Open Road Films
PFW Supervisor: David Lopez
PFW Producer: Justin Gladden
PFW Scope of Work: VFX, 145 shots
PFW Lead Facilities: Vancouver
PFW Associate Team: Mumbai