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Candyman
Dare to say his name.

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  • Director
    Nia DaCosta
  • Studios
    Universal Pictures, MonkeyPaw Entertainment
  • VFX Studio
    Luma Pictures
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Candyman
I am the writing on the wall, the sweet smell of blood. Be my victim.

Candyman (2021) is a sequel to the classic horror film that was released in 1992 and takes place in the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began. Luma worked closely with VFX Producer James McQuaide to create invisible effects that supported Director Nia DaCosta's vision and left an impactful impression on the audience. Luma's work involved creating and animating Candyman’s photorealistic corpse across various sequences; CG bees, blood fluid simulations, cloth simulations, props, gore elements, and extensive projections.

During filming, the character of Candyman was performed by an actor wearing a prosthetic. In post, the filmmakers decided the prosthetic wasn’t real or visceral enough, so the character of Candyman ended up being a full, digital build which required our team to pivot hard and fast.

Luma rose to the challenge of recreating Candyman in CG without any references for his head or face. Since the character was never meant to be a full digital double, there was of course no motion capture or facial performance footage available. Our team had to quickly develop a complex facial-animation rig that would breathe life and nuance into his facial performance. We also researched crime scene photography, blunt force trauma wounds, and medical references in order to craft his asset with a high level of detail and ensure he would hold up to multiple close-ups.

Another challenge was the hallway scene where Sherman mimics Anthony’s reflection. The actors had been filmed together, working with a choreographer to match each other’s movements through a fake mirror. However the plate of the performance didn't provide us with all the information we’d need to inform our match-move criteria. So Luma's animation department, led by Raphael A. Pimentel, stepped in to fill in the gaps, such as hands, arms, legs, and the facial performance, which had all been obstructed by Anthony.

Andrew Zink, VFX Supervisor

I'm proud of our team’s dedication to craftsmanship which produced powerful visuals and brought a timely and timeless project to life.
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