We produced a sequence of shots for the stylish six-part cat and mouse thriller, We Hunt Together from our Visual Effects studio in London. For example, the severed head in Episode 1, as well as providing on-set VFX Supervision for some of the bigger elements in the series.
In the first episode, we see Baba, a former child soldier desperate to suppress his predisposition for violence, rescue Freddy, a magnetically charming free spirit, from an attack during a bad date. In this first episode, we see Baba’s grisly hallucination of a severed head, a stand-out shot that was carefully crafted for gruesome impact.
It was decided early on, that to achieve the effect and for the head to glance up we needed to use a support artist and not a dummy head. To produce the illusion that his head had been severed we split the shots into three passes: a clean background plate, a prosthetic stump on a spike and a plate of the support artists against a green screen.
We custom-made the prosthetic stump to fit the fairground spike. Shape and tone were matched from photographs of the SA.
Once dressed into the set, this plate formed the connection between actor and set. Minimal makeup was applied on the day because we wanted the ability to control the damage to the rest of the face in post-production. Procedural cuts and bruises were generated which provided real-time placement of the wounds for quick feedback. We also paid particular attention to the neck wound, introducing some tears and layers of bright fat colours, suggesting the head was hacked off in a brutal way. The damaged eye was a later addition to push the impact of the first shot when Baba hallucinates the gory head. It needed to have some shock factor to provide an insight into Baba’s backstory.
As a creative Visual Effects team, our aim is always to capture as much, in-camera as possible, combining our practical and digital techniques to get the most realistic shot. Check out the rest of our blog for more examples of this.