Earlier this month, 20th Century Studios released a brand new horror-thriller, “The Boogeyman”, in theatres. The new film is based on the 1973 short story by Stephen King. The film follows Sadie Harper and her little sister Sawyer who have to navigate their new life after the death of their mother while not receiving any support from their grieving father, Will, a therapist. One day an unexpected patient shows up at their house in need of help, and he leaves behind a supernatural entity.

Recently, I had a chance to speak with some of the people behind the VFX in the film, including Jonathan Piche-Delorme, the FOLKS VFX supervisor, and Gabriel Beauvais, the Head of Creatures/Senior CG supervisor.

FOLKS collaborated closely with the producers, executives, and directors to create a unique and haunting Boogeyman design. The team of 20 animators made over 150 animated CG shots of The Boogeyman and a fight sequence between the creature and live-action characters. FOLKS created CG environments that transport viewers into a dark and ominous world with FX fire simulation, soul strings effects, and black rot burning down.

Could you give us some information on your role in the film “The Boogeyman”?

Gabriel: Being involved in the project right from its early stages, we had the privilege to oversee both the design process of the creature and the final asset creation. I have supervised the CG process in collaboration with the VFX supervisor, Jonathan Piche-Delorme.

Jonathan: I have been involved in most parts of the VFX process of this project. From the initial design process to the final composite, I ensured that we always respected the director’s vision.

What was your biggest highlight in working on “The Boogeyman”?

One of the things I loved the most about the project was the awesome teamwork and collaboration on the show. It was seriously impressive to see how accessible the Director was and how enthusiastic the whole FOLKS team was about bringing this project to life.

What was your biggest challenge in working on “The Boogeyman”?

Gabriel: There are two challenges that come to mind when I think of the project.  First, it was to create a design that satisfied everyone involved. When we joined the project, there were already several concepts in place. Fortunately, we were able to rise to the challenge thanks to the collaboration of the team, including our Art and Asset departments.

Secondly, this project was one of FOLKS’ biggest animation projects ever. Except for the film, The Temple, a 15-minute animation project produced entirely at FOLKS and using full CG. Although the deadlines were reasonable, the workload pushed us to further develop our animation skills. Fortunately, we received invaluable support from Paul and Christina, who managed the project timeline and implemented effective strategies throughout the process.

How did you balance keeping the special effects within the PG13 guidelines?

Gabriel: We’ve removed the bloody organ shelf (the option to make blood) from Maya and Houdini! Honestly, I think most of it came from the direction and the brief of the shots themselves. More than about the way we did the VFX. Avoiding blood is always a sure bet, tough!!!

How does working on a horror/thriller like “The Boogeyman” differ from working on the X-Men films?

Gabriel: X-Men movies are way scarier, aren’t they?

Jonathan: Working on a project like Boogeyman is so much different. Our creative input was mostly the main difference. We crafted every pixel in this movie in collaboration with the director!

What was the most interesting special effect that you created for “The Boogeyman”?

Gabriel: It’s hard not to mention The Boogeyman itself. It’s exceptional when the creature you’ve designed not only becomes the focal point of the movie but also lends its name to the entire project. The process of creating a creature is incredibly fulfilling. We strive to breathe life into something that doesn’t exist, and to accomplish this, we have an entire team of dedicated artists collaborating.

How did you go about creating the big final battle?

Jonathan: The key here was the post-viz. Once we all knew we were going. We started animating the shots. Once the director was happy, we launched all the fire simulations and underwent compositing.

And finally, what’s been your favourite Disney+ original so far?

Gabriel: It’s challenging to choose just one since there are many excellent shows on Disney+. However, if I had to pick, I would say “Light and Magic.” I find it fascinating to explore the journey of pioneers who laid the foundation for the work we do today.

Jonathan: Same here; the high level of craftsmanship is just unbelievable.


“The Boogeyman” is out now in cinemas!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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