Bramley gave direction when actors used weapons like shotguns on set so they would react to the weapon as they would in a real life situation.
Filming has wrapped up on the independent horror flick, "Rightful," which was shot in Donaldsonville, La. Although cameras have stopped rolling, there's still plenty of behind-the-scenes work to be done on the horror film. Visual Effects Supervisor Patrick Bramley gave us the inside scoop on what it takes to make the scenes look just right.
Bramley said he was fortunate that director Andre Alfa gave him total creative freedom on the visual effects shots. Bramley was in control of where the camera was placed, how long it moved, and where the actors positioned themselves. Actors play a major role in making sure the enhanced shots look authentic. Bramley gave direction when actors used weapons like shotguns on set so they would react to the weapon as they would in a real life situation.
"Later in post production I will be adding a muzzle flash, interactive lighting, and smoke," Bramley said, "But if the character doesn't act properly with how the weapon would explode in their hands, the shot would look fake, no matter what I did."
Bramley set up tracking markers for moving cameras by laying down colored strips of painters tape shaped into a cross. He said this helped him calculate the size of the set and where the environment is in three-dimensional space. That comes in handy when using computer generated imagery, or CGI. He said stabilizing the environment helps when placing the CGI later.
Bramley used paper cups to make where an actress should be so he could place her into the shots later. The same technology was used for wounded characters in the thriller.
"I had to put white markers on the actors back, so I could later put large wounds there instead. An element we could not achieve on set, since the costumes were very fragile and scarce," said Bramley.
In some instances, Bramley had to film a character in front of a green screen. He did this so that later on in post production he could put a character into the environment that wasn't possible while on set.
"For example, if we had to use a dummy for the character to fall from a height, I would swap out the characters body with the actual body shot on the green screen, or even just replace their head in post production," said Bramley.
Bramley also worked closely with the practical effects and prop department. He had to apply green patches to the characters bodies so he could later replace it with a CGI prosthetic in post production.
"This saves the practical effects team time and the excess use of their elements on set. So I have the flexibility in post production, and can also achieve the look I'm trying to accomplish in post production," said Bramley.
Working closely with the director, first assistant director, and cinematographer was crucial. Bramley had to give concise and thorough descriptions to what he needed in order to achieve the shots he envisioned.
Follow Halen on Twitter: @LikeVanHalen