Post-production discovery: Goodbye Kansas on Locke And Key (Netflix) | New


Goodbye Kansas Studios has delivered 82 shots and 7 assets for the second series of Netflix’s supernatural horror drama Locke and Key, released on October 22.

Based on the comic book series of the same name by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez, the show follows three young children who discover a number of mysterious keys that can be used to magically unlock various doors. Goodbye Kansas Studios was a major supplier to the production and the team was led by VFX supervisor Ditch Doy and VFX producer Paula Pope.

When the time came to start working on the second series, the creative team wanted to invest more time in designing the new characters and creatures – after the first series became known for its distinctive visual style and fantastic elements. . After seeing some of the visuals that the Goodbye Kansas Studios team had created previously, they were approached by the Locke and Key team to create artistic concepts on a variety of Season 2 footage, some of which were related visuals. to horror.

Pope said, “In the second season, concept art played a huge role in the decision making. We were first approached by the production team who asked if we could help them develop the look of certain key sequences early enough in the process. This was to allow them to shed light on the work on some of their most important assets.

“We really enjoyed working with them to create some fantastic visuals like a demonic character. There was a lot of back and forth at this point to get whatever they wanted, but then it developed. more until we are asked to work on a sequence based on one of these concepts.

After creatively completing a plethora of demonic concept art, the team at Goodbye Kansas Studios were asked to work on a horror sequence featuring a number of nightmarish mannequins that they themselves created the movie for. initial conceptual art. As part of an inception-style nightmare, several characters are forced to walk through a haunted department store in the mind of another character. It is during this sequence that these faceless mannequins come to life and attack, developing menacing features as the scene evolves.

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Doy explained, “Because we were involved from the start of the process, we basically helped design these mannequins and develop the footage to better inform the shoot itself. VFX supervisor Wojciech Zelinski liked to get us involved and worked out. made sure he checked out what we needed from the shoot to create the visuals.

“When it came to filming the stage, rather than going for all-CG models, they decided to bring dancers on set to perform the required body movements and then we were tasked with replacing their heads. Our mannequin head platforms have been designed to connect to our body tracks, making it easier for our animators to work on their individual performances.

The concept of mannequins has changed several times during its development. There were initially several scans of the face of the actress who played the character, Eden, as the models were all supposed to look like her. However, as the streak evolved, the team decided it would be scarier if they had no faces at all.

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Doy revealed, “Models went from being sort of a photographic replica of the actress to these faceless automatons that had a much more sinister feel.

“The benchmark for our models came from the first horror films. We were then able to create jerky head movements to help give the models some creepy and quite unnerving movements. To achieve this, we created our own mini shoot of different head movements, and these initial plates were used as a basis to further increase the behavior. Having that underlying real human movement and then adding some secondary animation worked really well for us. However, we had to distinguish between fantasy and horror since the show is aimed at a younger audience.

Another key aspect of the work centered on flames and fire. As the team worked on the mannequin sequence, it was decided that they should be set on fire towards the climax of the scene. Since they had already built the mannequins, it went without saying that they also had to destroy them.

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“Burning the mannequins was pretty fun,” Doy admitted. “We used Houdini to simulate the fire on the actor who was carrying two tube lamps, one on his chest and one on his back, in order to project natural light into the scene. It worked pretty well and as a result we won the majority of the fire scenes in the series. “

One of the magic keys that play a vital role in the series, called the Matchstick Key, possesses the ability to create and start fires. Goodbye Kansas worked on two large scenes featuring the flames created by this key – one of which takes place in a greenhouse that one of the characters lights. However, this fire was not meant to be a destructive force, but rather a more playful fire that danced across the room.

Pope said, “The direction we were given for this fire was ‘romantic’, but questions have arisen as to what constitutes a romantic fire and how best to create it? Our goal was to make it slower and more magical as opposed to fast and fierce. The fire was to rise up a fountain and move slowly through flowerpots to help create the look and feel of a warm, well-lit environment.

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“If the fire were too big or stayed too long on the surfaces, the viewer would have the impression that he could set the place on fire. So we made sure to put out the fire quickly as it moved on the surface and keep a short flame length to reduce the risk of danger. It was very delicate, but it ended up looking pretty awesome at the end.

A later scene in Episode Ten required even more flames, but this time in the style of a blowtorch used on a steel door vault. Part of the team’s work on this scene involved building the arch and the effects of the beam when it melted the door.

Doy said, “We had to create a plasma torch effect, basically, which took a bit of back and forth to get the right level of sparks. Since this wrench has so many different applications, we couldn’t just reuse the same lights over and over again. That was the reasoning behind the romantic fire in the greenhouse scene, an angry wall of flames in episode eight, and the soldering effect in episode ten. Each had their own set of challenges and a different look for each, which was pretty fun.

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“This project has been such a joy for our team – from concept art to project completion. Building that kind of relationship with a client is always very satisfying and working with people who trust us enough to move the project forward has been amazing and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.


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