106 Crew Members
John Francis Daley
New Line Cinema
Overall VFX Supervisor
Patrick David (Rodeo FX)
Overall VFX Producer
Rodeo FX Crew
Rodeo FX Supervisor Pat David worked closely with directors John Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to add action film intensity to this dark comedy. The directors wanted a distinct visual style and from the beginning identified tilt-shift shots, montage sequences and various visual effects ideas. They were very interested in our work on Birdman, for which we stitched together shots to create the famous ‘single shot’ effect.
Game Night’s version of a ‘single shot’ takes place during the Faberge egg chase. We stitched together nine different shots into one 2000-frame shot, requiring significant Compositing tricks. This sequence also required a CG version of the egg for the transitions and for the shot where it rolls across the floor and over the ledge.
For the action-packed plane scene, the film team used a real jet plane on set, as well as a wrecked plane, cutting its tail and wings, and rigging it to pull it on the runway. We created extensions for the nose, tail and wings of the wrecked plane. We also built a full CG version of the plane for the more action-intense shots. We worked closely with the filmmakers to identify the shots that needed to be filmed with the set planes and the ones that had to be created in post-production.
For the title we used onset lighting on the actors so the CG sign would feel real. The title kick’s off the film’s opening sequence, a montage showing the passage of time and the evolution of the main characters’ relationship.
The Faberge Egg chase sequence involved extensive VFX tricks. The 2000-frame shot is composed of 8 stitches of 9 different plates. We transition from the practical egg to our CG model as it rolls down the floor. On-set animation reference was shot from 3 witness cams of the prop egg with the correct weight rolling along the path. The prop’s weight, slowdown and side-to-side weaving helped inform our decisions. Markers were placed on the floor along the egg’s true curved path to help camera framing.
Using lidar scans, Nuke’s Z depth generator, rotoscoping and careful compositing, we added a tilt-shift ‘real-life game board’ miniature effect to several establishing shots.
For the plane chase sequence, we created a full CG asset based on Lidar of the real plane. We worked on set with the practical effects team and DOP to decide which shots would use a real jet, which ones used a wingless buck jet that was pulled by a truck, and which shots required a full CG jet.