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Monday, November 2, 2020

‘Come Play’: Director Jacob Chase Talks the Film’s Practical Monster in This Featurette and Interview [Exclusive]

He just wants a friend.

This Halloween weekend Focus Features and Amblin Partners introduced horror fans to Larry, a brand new monster that was birthed in Jacob Chase‘s Come Play.

Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher Jr. star as parents who must fight to save their son (Azhy Robertson) from a new kind of creature, which was a mix of digital and practical effects.

In this exclusive featurette, Chase talks about the importance of bringing a physical puppet to the set of Come Play, while he goes even further in the below interview.

“I have a deep love of practical effects as an audience member. In addition, I used to create and run this haunted house, called Sherwood Scare, that ran for several years during the Halloween season. My friends and I would build all sorts of practical effects for the show. Everything from ghost effects to endless hallways, floors that dropped, and even elaborate costumes.”

Come Play is based on Chase’s short film “Larry”, which introduced us to the title creature.

“One of those elaborate costumes I created for my haunted house was a character with long arms and legs, requiring the actor (usually me) to be on stilts while scaring guests,” he reveals. “It was sort of half costume/half puppet. I still had that costume in the garage at the same time I was itching to make something new for Halloween. Instead of the haunt, I decided on a short film and I used that very costume that was just collecting dust. So it all started with this creature I had made so I expanded on his mythology and powers for the short film. The goal was to make something atmospheric and creepy in a very short runtime.”

He continues by explaining how Larry was designed. “For the feature version of the character, I used the short film as a jumping off point for the silhouette but enlisted several people in crafting the perfect Larry.

“The Jim Henson Creature Shop was there from the beginning, creating maquettes, life-size mock-ups out of pool noodles, and eventually a carefully sculpted puppet.

“They worked alongside Aaron Simms for some concept art and Sarah Ferber, who was simultaneously illustrating the “Misunderstood Monsters” book that would be featured in the film. (Fun fact, Sarah was the main artist at my old haunt as well and it was so fun to bring her along for this journey!)”

Chase recounts the difficulty of doing on-set effects vs. CGI and how it was worth the extra effort.

“The difficulties of doing on-set effects are many, but they were challenges I was very willing to face head on,” Chase tells us. “For one, it takes a lot of preparation. I had to carefully plan every sequence so the puppeteers knew exactly what they had to practice doing. We tried to give them ample rehearsal time for each sequence so that when we were shooting on the day, it could feel more like the actors were interacting with another scene partner than anything.

“Of course, that doesn’t always go as planned but the beauty of having the puppet on set was that I could also have new ideas in the moment and they were possible to capture in camera! The biggest challenge comes in post,” he added.

“Just like working with actors, once you’re done shooting those are your only takes. With the puppet, you don’t get to go in and change performance via VFX. So we did a lot of alts on set. And I should say our amazing VFX team at MR.X definitely brought an added layer in post. The biggest thing was removing all the puppeteers from the shots as well as taking over for some moments the puppet just couldn’t do, like run through a wet field at night. To answer your question about if it’s worth the extra effort, I definitely think so! The reactions I was able to get from the whole cast, and the tactile feel of the creature lead to some really magical moments. Especially in a horror film, I thought it was important for the creature to feel dangerous and present instead of a digital creation. But every movie requires a different approach!”

Chase tells us how he handled the technology in the film being that it changes so rapidly and could quickly become outdated.

“That’s a good question. I hope I did okay with that. It’s something that always bugs me in movies, when tech feels outdated,” Chase said. “What I tried to do was not use devices we’re all super familiar with. We made our own screens, front and back, so that the buttons and markings felt like something real, but wasn’t any one brand or type of phone/tablet. So in that way, I thought at least it could feel consistent within the world while not making you think of the phone in your pocket.”

Being an expert in haunted houses and having even played around with Disney’s “pepper’s ghost” effect, Chase tells us his dream project: a Disney’s Haunted Mansion movie.

Come Play is now in theaters.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/exclusives/3639884/come-play-featurette-explores-making-monster-exclusive/

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