Saul Hudson – better known as Slash, the lead guitarist of Guns n Roses – makes his film production debut with Nothing Left To Fear, a character-driven horror movie from first-time director Anthony Leonardi III, which was featured at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Prime Focus World provided VFX, Digital Intermediate services and camera rental for the production.
"We were delighted to be able to support this new filmmaking team with a wide range of our services," said Prime Focus World Executive Producer Rohan Desai. "This was a strategic project for PFW, providing services from across the globe to allow the filmmaking team to take full advantage of the cost efficiencies inherent in our business model."
Nothing Left To Fear is set in the real-life town of Stull in Kansas, reputed to be one of the seven known gateways to Hell, where once a year the Devil is said to rise from the town’s graveyard and stalk the Earth. The town is so infamous that Pope John Paul II refused to fly over it on a trip to North America. Drawing on this rich heritage of folklore and superstition, Nothing Left To Fear follows the story of a down-on-their-luck family that moves into the town, only to discover an evil beyond any of their worst nightmares.
One of the main challenges of the VFX work on this movie was the creation of the ‘Darkness’ character for the death sequences; a menacing presence that kills its victims by slowly sucking the life out of them, rotting their bodies within seconds of contact. As a well-regarded concept artist, known especially for his work with Gore Verbinski, director Anthony Leonardi III was clear in his direction on how this effect should look.
"The work we completed on Nothing Left To Fear required CG generated FX elements to be projected in comp onto character-animated geometry, and significant R&D was undertaken to make the effect look seamless," explained Merzin Tavaria, Chief Creative Director and Co-Founder, Prime Focus. "The 'Darkness' also had to be visually captivating, and to keep growing in power and effect throughout the movie. The team achieved this by increasing its scale and violent characteristics, growing them in parallel with the narrative arc of the movie."
PFW VFX Supervisor Shailendra Swarankar continued: "In addition to the conceptualization and creation of the ‘Darkness’ character, PFW also delivered a number of challenging VFX sequences for the movie, including a dream sequence which required the creation of a surreal dream environment. Lens flares and particulates floating in the air were added, and matchmove and projection techniques were used to make the sheep in the sequence seem as though they were rotting - including the CG face replacement of live sheep, to comp in rotten faces. This sequence alone required close to 35 VFX shots."
Another interesting sequence was the ‘Magic Hour’ sequence, which involved digitally enhancing a romantic setting on the top of a tower overlooking the town. For this sequence, the compositing team worked seamlessly with the DI team and DOP to ensure that the shots looked perfect, including clean-up to ensure that the view matched the period in which the scene is set.
"I have always been a huge horror fan," commented producer Slash. "Creating films that take you back to the days where horror movies actually scared the hell out of you is something I have always wanted to do."
Prime Focus World contributed 218 VFX shots for Nothing Left To Fear out of its Mumbai VFX facility with regular client shot reviews at its Los Angeles headquarters, and also provided Digital Intermediate services and camera rental for the movie.
RELEASE: October 4, 2013
Director: Anthony Leonardi III
Producers: Alison Palmer Bourke, Todd Dagres, Rob Eric, Slash, Michael Williams
Studio / Distributor: Anchor Bay Films
PFW Supervisor: Shaily Swarnkar
PFW Producer: Shome Dasgupta
PFW Scope of Work: VFX, 228 shots
PFW Lead Facility: Mumbai