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THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT

SFX For The Performers
Inspired by beautiful artwork the team created in preproduction, visual effects supervisor TODD SHIFFLETT of Rhythm & Hues sat down with Weitz and the production designer to discuss the look of the film. Weitz gained inspiration from 1920s and '30s German Expressionist painters to help create the feeling for the world that Darren Shan would enter…and the one that Larten Crepsley had been living in for decades. With the help of prosthetics, countless hours of makeup and integrated CGI, the cast of freaks that author Shan imagined was born. The effects team wanted the mysterious and sexy psychic Madame Truska to quickly sprout facial hair, which had to appear to grow as naturally as possible…with a little help from CGI. The team consid ered every detail, including how quickly the beard should come out of her follicles, if it should spread evenly down her face, and whether the mustache or the muttonchops would grow in first. The team worked off of the actress' facial expressions as a guide.

Laughs Hayek, "There was a lot of work and hours in the trailer, but I was excited to see myself with a beard. It's fun to be able to change and become someone else.”

Her director would find there were many times when he wondered just how he'd gotten his talent to agree to such a tough shoot. Recalls Weitz, "Every few days on the set, there would be something I was shooting, and I'd think, ‘Oh my God. I can't believe I'm doing this; it's so bizarre.' I would think I'd constantly gone too far.”

In order to create the eerie look of Orlando Jones'Alexander Ribs, the team wanted to design a shot to show off his body—as well as his almost nonexistent waist. DP Muro, Shifflett and Weitz set up shots that were specifically backlit in order for the dynamics of his body to stand out. Comments Shifflett: "We have this lovely organic form that almost appears to be wrapped in Saran wrap. You get to envision the peristalsis, the gurgling and the moving around of all the organs. We've taken some liberties with what organs actually go where to make him so tight.”

Jane Krakowski's Corma Limbs has the fascinating gift of regrowing limbs after they've been destroyed or, in several cases, eaten. To prepare for Corma's close-ups, Shifflett's team took a full-body cyberscan of the actress. To add more detail, they made a cast of Krakowski's arm and hand, which was used in the scene in which her arm is torn off by the Wolfman.

Because he was more interested in his audience being fascinated and creeped out by the freaks than horrified by gore, Weitz didn't want Corma's arm to appear terribly bloody. Sticking with this theme, the effects team had Corma's limb grow back in a twisting, almost spaghetti-like unfurling of the limbs, which ultimately evolve into hands, fingers and fingertips. As love is apparently both blind and hungry, there is a scene in which Corma's boyfriend, Alexander Ribs, takes a bite out of her finger. To capture the bizarre moment, the filmmakers used a hard piece of chocolate for the tip.

The look of Frankie Faison's Rhamus Twobellies was achieved through the use of a prosthetic mold featuring two bellies with two belly buttons. The actor had to withstand five hours of hair and makeup—as well as countless gallons of glue—to put the look of his character together. In one scene, Rhamus is seen swallowing a retractable torch in its entirety. With the help of some quick cuts, editing and SFX from R&H, it appears he is able to swallow the torch whole.

The filmmakers considered every detail when deciding how to portray each character on screen. About Twobellies being able to swallow almost any object, Shifflett says, "We asked ourselves, ‘How big do we really want to make his mouth, regar

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