We were the lead Visual Effects team on recent horror film Don’t Knock Twice, our third collaboration with Red and Black Films (The Machine, The Call Up). As well as the full showreel we did for our work on the film, here are some detailed individual breakdowns.
While Jess (Katee Sackhoff) and Chloe (Lucy Boynton) are escaping from the creature (Javier Botet), they are in a twisted dimension where they have to literally run through an ever-changing landscape. The Director wanted them to crawl into a tight tunnel from a larger antechamber, and to achieve this the actors were filmed running through a green screen environment; we built a matte painting of the cave environment on and composited the actors in.
In a nightmarish dream sequence, Jess sees herself die, then watches her dead body rot right before her eyes. To achieve this We took stills of Katee’s head from every angle and used them to build a detailed 3D model, which we then re-sculpted and carefully textured to represent the various stages of decomposition.
The exterior of the house in which Mary Aminov (Ania Marson) lived was built by the Art Department in the middle of nowhere on waste ground. To make it look like it was closer to civilisation we created a full matte painting using a mix of 2D and 3D techniques, showing a busy interchange running past, complete with CG cars, the outskirts of the city, and an active CCTV camera.
Ultimately cut from the film, these driving shots show Jess driving to find Chloe, first along a busy motorway then off the beaten track. We achieved this by filming Katee Sackhoff against a greenscreen in a studio and then compositing her and the car against fully CG backgrounds. This allowed the Director to precisely direct the overall look, including the speed of the car and the road signs.
When Chloe gets taken by Ginger she falls through a street-level cellar hatch that has been magically transformed into Ginger’s door. Stunt performer Claire Lawrence dropped through a blue-screen hatch and we replaced her face with Lucy Boynton’s, compositing her into the footage of the street. We also touched up the street sign to make it look like the shot was taking place in London, despite being shot in South Wales.
It’s night time when Chloe first arrives at Jess’s house, however scheduling dictated this shot had to be filmed during the day. Lucy Boynton was filmed against bluescreen at the front entrance, and the background was built from still and moving elements, treated to look like night.
"With a great lead performance from an always reliable leading lady, a creative monster that is genuinely scary, excellent visuals and an overpowering atmosphere, Don’t Knock Twice has all the necessary elements" (The Fan Carpet)