Rodeo FX created 60 visual effects shots for Denis Villeneuve’s film Enemy. Based on “The Double” by Nobel Laureate José Saramago, Enemy features Jake Gyllenhaal, a college professor, who gets spooked when he watches a movie and realizes the actor looks exactly like him.
Using a judicious combination of live and CG elements, Rodeo helped bringing Denis Villeneuve’s vision to life. Although the story is futuristic, the goal was to achieve a documentary-style, seamless look to keep the focus on the intrigue.
Therefore, Rodeo had to find a clever yet imperceptible way to “duplicate” Jake Gyllenhaal, so that he would be talking to his doppelganger and even, be physically interacting with him. A crew from Rodeo, the sole VFX studio involved in the project, was present on set to assist Denis Villeneuve for the shooting of these very technical scenes.
Some matte painting work was also achieved to enhance Toronto Metropolis, and a clever combination of a real and a CG spider was used to impersonate that intriguing creature.
All in all, the main challenge was to create seamless effects using mostly live, thus realistic solutions that required a lot of element shooting but, above all, a lot of thinking!
Enemy was premiered in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and opened in March 2014 across Canada.