Rushes has completed all 250 VFX shots on Lesbian Vampire Killers, the horror-comedy starring Gavin and Stacey's James Corden and Matthew Horne. Ascent 142 completed all of the picture post, and the movie is the first UK production to be shot entirely on the RED One camera. Both companies were involved in working closely with director Phil Clayton and the production team early on in pre-production to assist with the new post pipeline required camera data and with planning the VFX.
The Rushes VFX team were on location during production at Three Mills Studio, working closely with Claydon to develop ideas for the VFX. The VFX included matte paintings for the backgrounds of 2.5-minute prologue, which was shot entirely on greenscreen -- as well as a full CG tongue, CG vampire trails and compositing of prosthetics and special effects.
Rushes worked with Millennium FX who created all the prosthetics and SFX who were responsible for the ‘Goop’ rigs that supply the elements for the exploding vampires. The three companies had to work closely together on set, deciding potential VFX approaches for the final 250 VFX shots. Pulling out a particular shot whenever necessary on set was invaluable for supervising VFX.
"With 250 shots, having data on hand on set helped manage the VFX process by providing rushes to look at straight away in QuickTime", says Jonathan Privett, VFX supervisor at Rushes.
The basic process for handling data on the film began with the camera department, which recorded data onto Compact Flash cards. These were then copied onto Firewire drives for delivery to Ascent 142. Throughout production, 142 received dailies in the form of raw data from the cameras where the data was converted to 2k DPX Log files.
For Patrick Malone, Director of DI at Ascent 142, one of the great things about RED is that the compression levels are very manageable. RED does, however, pose challenges.
"If you're a film cameraman you will know that a certain exposure of a certain stock will give a particular result," he says. "With RED being a data camera, you have to put the tools in place that allow you to have that foresight on set because you can't apply simple logic and maths to the equation."
The production team requested a tape delivery for its editorial team working on Avid. 142 deployed a workflow, starting with the export of Pro-RES QuickTimes with file name and time code burn-ins via the REDcine application. These were subsequently played out to HDCam tape via Final Cut Pro, and supplied to Editorial for Avid Ingest along with ALE files containing all relevant RED metadata.
Once the offline edit was done, EDLs were supplied by editorial and used to create XML files in Final Cut Pro. These were then used to extract the 2K data, from which VFX plates were supplied to Rushes VFX Dept and the final VFX shots were resupplied to 142 conformed in Smoke and DI grade.
Lesbian Vampire Killers is released nationwide in the UK on March 20.