No Mercy

April 29, 2011

Once again the TOH team was called upon to create a dynamic 30 second trailer for bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon. This time it was for the latest installment of her celebrated Dark Hunter series. Set in a biker bar in New Orleans, the Dark Hunters have been summoned to come up with a plan to deal with Stryker and his growing army of demons. Shot entirely on a green screen sound stage, this production involved babes, bikes and bears… Werebears that is!

After receiving final approval on our script, we began casting our talent. Over the course of two audition days, we saw over 60 individuals until finally settling on the seven who appear in the final 30 second spot (not counting extra demons).

In a similar process to The League, our entire production took place on a green screen sound stage in downtown LA, over the course of three days. A great deal of attention was placed on the lighting, which can make or break the final outcome when other elements and backgrounds are added to the scenes in post.

[above] an example of the many layers and elements that can go into each shot, this one had over 40.

The story takes place at the infamous “Sanctuary” -a fictional bar in New Orleans where all of the super human individuals tend to hang out. Starting with a picture provided by the author (below), I was able to achieve our opening shot by working some “day for night” magic, and adding other elements, such as sky, street, lights and fog into the scene.

For the shot of Dev in front of the bar, we opted to use a practical set piece. This was necessary in order to capture the headlights from the motorcycle accurately as they played across Dev and the entrance to the bar behind him. The signage and bar interior were added in post.

For a scene in which Chi, Samia, and Nick are cornered by a group of approaching Daimons, we broke the shot up by shooting the heroes separately from the bad guys. In post, they were then placed together and combined with various photos and textures which were lit virtually.

A screenshot of a typical day in the world of Adobe After Effects.