Chaos Walking: VFX Breakdown by Rodeo FX

Chaos Walking is a 2021 American dystopian action film directed by Doug Liman from a screenplay by Patrick Ness and Christopher Ford. It is based on Ness’s science fiction trilogy Chaos Walking, adapting its first book, 2008’s The Knife of Never Letting Go. It stars Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland, Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, and David Oyelowo. It follows a young man (Holland) who lives in a dystopian world without women, where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in streams of images, words, and sounds called “Noise”. When a woman (Ridley) crash-lands on the planet, he must help her escape danger.

Announced in 2011, the film underwent several rewrites from a draft by Charlie Kaufman, with Jamie Linden, John Lee Hancock, Gary Spinelli, Lindsey Beer, Christopher Ford, and Ness revising it further. Liman was later announced as director in 2016, and principal photography began in 2017. Originally set to release on March 1, 2019, it was removed from schedule to accommodate the film’s reshoots in April 2019 after poor test screenings.

Chaos Walking was theatrically released on February 24, 2021, in South Korea and on March 5, 2021, in the United States. It received generally negative reviews from critics, and was a box office failure, grossing $21 million worldwide against its $100 million budget, resulting in a write-down for Lionsgate.

VFX Done by Rodeo FX

VFX SUPERVISOR Arnaud Brisebois

Rodeo FX was brought onto Chaos Walking, a film inspired by the much-celebrated YA book series with a loyal audience.

Though our teams produced concepts for the “noise”, our work was mainly focused on shots towards the end of the film. We produced an array of interesting effects including reverberations, digi-doubles, and conjuring figures. The snake attack was an impressive highlight of our work, as was the full CG spaceship seen at the end as well as the wrecked spaceship environment. You can also see our team’s skillsets in the colony ship, the environment of Prentisstown, cloud effects, and the final showdown.

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