Fear, tension, balance on the border of two interpenetrating worlds – these are just some of the images describing the trailer for The Medium created by us in production house Dobro for Bloober Team studio.
Medium is a horror game telling a story full of terror, in which the main character Marianne – the title medium – tries to solve a murder mystery. The protagonist can move in two worlds, the real one and the world of ghosts and phantoms. The game designed by Bloober Team studio creates a unique atmosphere, serving a dark vision of the world straight from the paintings of Zdzisław Beksiński.
Our task was to prepare an atmospheric live-action trailer that illustrates at its best the style of the game. The script was written by Tomek Bagiński, to whom the work of Zdzisław Beksiński is close to heart. The main task was to emphasize the emotional side of the story and at the same time to keep as many twists and turns in the story as secrets to keep a specific mood without giving away the story.
When Bloober Team and I decided that we were going for a live-action teaser, it was clear that we wanted to emphasize the emotional side of the game in this way – Medium is an innovative horror game, but its main strength is the fantastic personalities of all the characters, both protagonists and antagonists. Having actors at our disposal, we could go for the emotional side even more strongly than if we had only animated characters. – says Tomek Bagiński.
Based on the script we firstly developed a storyboard, and then the stillomatic, which was used as a basis to refine the script. All this was done to plan what visual effects will be added many weeks before the shooting starts, in the pre-production process, and to prepare for the shooting set accordingly.
Our cooperation with the director and the cinematographer began with the analysis of the script. We divided it into shots with effects and shots on set without the use of postproduction. We worked out a plan of action, preparing technical drawings and previs – explains Mateusz Tokarz, VFX Supervisor – We started working on the shots which are fully computer-generated as early as possible so that we could watch them on set and see if they merged with the camera footage properly – he adds.
The Medium is a unique project. Usually, game developers decide to make full CG trailers, but here we had a live-action project with many VFX elements. – comments Marina Borokhova, VFX Producer – We treated this production as a short film, so the cinematography and visual effects were done just like in feature films, with maximum attention to detail, so that the viewer has a sense of being transported into the real world.
We worked with Production House Dobro that was responsible for the shooting. Chosen locations required appropriate set design treatments. The space arrangement was done by a duo of set designers – Katarzyna Sobańska and Marcel Sławiński.
The biggest challenge was to transfer the world of the game into a real film in a short time. We had to translate the ideas of the game creators into a visual language – describes Katarzyna Sobańska.
A big inspiration for us was the work of Zdzislaw Beksinski – very suggestive and powerful. We tried to transfer it into 3D world and make his art even more spatial. – adds Marcel Sławiński.
The final effect was also greatly influenced by the costumes, prepared individually for each character by Ola Staszko, as well as the make-up which thanks to Paula Celinska, faithfully reproduces the appearance of the characters from the game world.
The live-action trailer was directed by Paweł Maślona, who, in cooperation with Tomek Bagiński, translated the idea from the pages of the screenplay into film language.
The big challenge for us was to depict the world of Medium, both in terms of setting and atmosphere. We have shots taken both in the real world and in the world of Medium, identically, to show their parallel coexistence and smooth transition from one world to another. – says Paweł Maślona – The action of the game takes place in two worlds, and so does the trailer, which is a combination of analog and digital technology by Platige’s – He adds.
In our production, we cooperated with actor Grzegorz Damięcki, who plays one of the main roles. The Medium’s premieres on January 28th.