VFX Legion, the LA and B.C.-based global visual effects boutique, crafted 170+ effects for ‘Totally Killer,’ director Nahnatchka Khan’s horror-comedy from Amazon MGM Studios and Blumhouse Television. David Matalo, Sasha Perl-Raver, and Jen D’Angelo penned the screenplay from a story by Matalon and Perl-Raver for the Amazon original film, which debuted worldwide on October 6 on the Prime Video streaming service.
The comedic time-traveling thriller follows Jamie (Kiernan Shipka/Mad Men) whose mom, Pam (Julie Bowen/Modern Family), is terrorized by the resurgence of the ‘Sweet Sixteen Killer’ — a masked maniac who slaughtered a group of girls in 1987 on Halloween. Jamie, her friend Amelia (Kelcey Mawema/ Superman and Lois), and the teen version of her mom (Olivia Holt/ Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger) travel back in time 35 years, determined to stop the would-be killer before the murder spree begins.
‘Totally Killer’ relied on Legion to seamlessly alter the practical footage with a wide range of invisible effects, including multiple green screens, crowd duplication, dynamics, extensions, enhanced camera movement, rig removal, tracking, painting, and composition.
CG knife blades, digital removal of prosthetics, and enhanced wounds are among the effects that heighten the visceral impact of the most bone-chilling moments in the gory Halloween tale.
Artists helped create the authentic look and nostalgic vibe of the 1980s, digitally deleting and replacing objects captured by the camera that were out of place in the bygone era. 3D tracking in SynthEyes enabled compositors to align elements with practical footage on Nuke.
Legion’s workload dramatically increased after shooting schedules ware rearranged to accommodate actors unable to be on set due to the strict mitigation efforts in the early days of the pandemic.
DP Judd Overton and his crew met the challenge, continuing the shoot without the talent and wrapping the production on schedule
As cast members recovered, Overton filmed the actors in front of a green screens. Artists then replaced the backgrounds, precisely matching the performances to align with principal photography.
The sheer volume of additional green screen effects nearly doubled Legion’s workload. Drawing from its international collective talent, VFX Legion quickly scaled up its team, delivering all of the final shots on schedule.
Blake Anderson, Legion’s B.C.-based VFX supervisor, headed up the production guiding the company’s international team through the creative process. VFX producer Antonio Gallardo managed the project while making certain that the production took advantage of British Columbia’s substantial tax incentives.
CEO and co-founder, James David Hattin, helmed the job from the company’s flagship location in Burbank. Working closely with Khan throughout production, Hattin ensured that Legion’s team approached each shot with a clear understanding of the director’s vision.
Thrillers are VFX Legion’s wheelhouse. The company has a decade-long history with Blumhouse, creating effects for dozens of episodes of television shows and movies in this genre. Most recently, the award-winning production company brought Legion on board as the primary visual effects vendor for a mix of films including, ‘The Passenger,’ ‘Black Phone,’ and the original Amazon films ‘Nocturne, ‘Black Box,’ ‘Evil Eye,’ ‘Bingo Hell,’ ‘The Manor,’ ‘Madres,’ ‘Black as Night, and ‘A House on the Bayou’ created for the horror anthology, ‘Welcome to Blumhouse.’
Title: ‘Totally Killer’
Genre: Horror, Comedy / feature film
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Release date: October 6, 2023
Production company: Blumhouse Television
Production company: Amazon MGM Studios
Production company: Divide/Conquer
Jason Blum – producer
Kyle Chalmers – co-executive producer
Chris Dickie – executive producer
Greg Gilreath – producer
Jeremy Gold – executive producer
Adam Hendricks – producer
Nahnatchka Khan – executive producer
Chris McCumber – executive producer
Adan Orozco – co-producer
Brian Leslie Parker – executive producer
Chloe Yellin – executive producer
Screenplay by – David Matalon, Sasha Perl-Raver,Jen D’Angelo
Story by – David Matalon, Sasha Perl-Raver
Cinematography by – Judd Overton
Editing by -Jeremy Cohen
Visual Effects by VFX Legion:
CEO/Creative – James David Hattin: VFX Legion
Visual Effects Supervisor – Blake Anderson: VFX Legion
Head of Production – Nate Smalley: VFX Legion
Visual Effects Producer – Antonio Gallardo: VFX Legion
Senior Visual Effects Coordinator – Matthew Noren: VFX Legion
Visual Effects Coordinator – Tina Vuu: VFX Legion
Tracking Artist – Ruy Delgado: VFX Legion
CG Artist – Shantel Short: VFX Legion
Digital Compositor – Johannes Bahre: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Nolan Conrad: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – David Goody: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – James David Hattin: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Clinton Heusser: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Kate T.C. Lin: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Matthias Lowry: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Lauren Morimoto: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Brad Moylan: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Eugen Olsen: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Eduardo Parra Ouilhet: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Vicki Silva: VFX Legion
Digital compositor – Jayme Vandusen: VFX Legion
Chief Technology Officer – Dylan Yastremski: VFX Legion
- VFX Legion Creates 170+ FX for ‘Totally Killer,’ a New Comedy Thriller from Blumhouse and Amazon MGM Studios - October 25, 2023
- VFX Legion Crafts the Effects for ‘The Passenger’ - August 28, 2023
- VFX Legion Crafts 100+ FX for 1st Season of ‘Quantum Leap’ - May 15, 2023