Leave The World Behind VFX supervisor Chris Harvey on bringing the special effects to life

by W. Andrew Powell

VFX artist Chris Harvey has created a lot of magic on screen, and his work in the Netflix drama Leave The World Behind will definitely surprise you.

Note that this interview contains spoilers about the film.

Directed by Sam Esmail, the film is a tense drama about a family that’s struggling to stay calm as the world around them seems to be falling apart. Starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke, it’s a film that leaves you guessing for a long time, and the special effects ramp up the feelings of dread.

“Ultimately, the goal of most visual effects is to try to make them seamless so people don’t know they’re there,” Harvey said. “But sometimes you’re dealing with things that, in this case, there’s a few disaster events that clearly we couldn’t have really filmed.”

A number of key moments in the film feature a large herd of deer standing in the forest and staring at the humans, and it took a lot of work to make it work.

VFX preparation on Leave The World Behind

“We filmed a whole lot of deer for reference, photography, textures, things like that, and then we actually bought a couple of like actual [mounted deer heads] and we would take those out on set… rather than just always filming an empty forest, for example, we would actually place those where we wanted some of the more hero deer in the shots.”

While there are also huge effects that took time and a lot of research, some of the visual effects were much more subtle, and not at all obvious.

“We shot this film starting in early March, which in New York it doesn’t look like end of the summer vacation season yet. There’s no leaves on the trees or anything like that. So there are scenes–entire scenes–where we had to [digitally] replace all of the foliage in the location.”

Watch the full interview above to hear more about Harvey’s work in the film, how they created the Tesla crash scene, and much more. Watch Leave The World Behind on Netflix.

Image courtesy of Netflix.

Join our list

Subscribe to our mailing list and get weekly updates on our latest contests, interviews, and reviews.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

You may also like

Leave a Reply


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Accept Read More