Wentworth MillerSource Your high quality source for Wentworth
4 April 2010   Comments Off on Set Report: The Sights of Resident Evil: Afterlife

The living dead have been here before. Adorning the walls of Toronto’s Cinespace Studios, on a November afternoon in 2009, one can find posters for Resident Evil: Apocalypse and the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead.

Quietly, over the years, Pittsburgh has relegated its status as the undead capital of North America – a badge proudly worn since George A. Romero shot Night of the Living Dead there in the ’60s – and handed the reigns to Toronto. Besides harboring the aforementioned Evil sequel and Dead remake, this city in the Great White North holds wildly popular zombie walks and is now a place where Romero coincidentally calls home where he’s completed three entries in his on-going Dead series. And now it’s welcoming another zombie menace within the walls of Cinespace: Resident Evil: Afterlife, the 3D fourth entry in Screen Gems and Capcom’s franchise culled loosely from video games.

Paul W.S. Anderson returns to the director’s chair after helming the first film and producing/writing every chapter in the series. Alexander Witt took control of Apocalypse – a film confined to the streets of Raccoon City – and Russell Mulcahy opened the scope of the series just a bit wider in Resident Evil: Extinction, the last film which found series stalwart Alice (Milla Jovovich), and her clones, declaring war on the nefarious Umbrella Corporation (the company responsible for a world-wide virus that decimated the population, punished Mother Nature and unleashed a zombie menace). Other familiar faces in Afterlife include Ali Larter (reprising her role as Claire Redfield) and Spencer Locke (as K-Mart). Newcomers to the series include Wentworth Miller, filling the shoes of Chris Redfield, Shawn Roberts, now playing Wesker (previously essayed by Jason O’Mara in Extinction) and Kim Coates, playing a slimy Hollywood type who has miraculously survived the destruction that has been thrown at the human race.

Shock Till You Drop is led through Cinespace by producer Jeremy Bolt (longtime collaborator with Anderson). Before we even reach the main soundstage, there they are…

A pair of the goddamn zombie dogs that have reared their mangy heads in every film.

These things are not alive. Instead, they’re a stand-in creation by Paul Jones and his FX team. Bolt and Jones note their working relationship reaches back as far as Ken Russell’s 1988 The Lair of the White Worm. On closer inspection of the dogs, this writer notes various changes to the beasts, all of which are very Rob Bottin/The Thing-esque. Much like the previous dogs we’ve seen, these are in various stages of decay: Exposed ribs, torn ears, gnarly hair. Their heads are split wide open, strips of cranium pulled back like petals on a flower to reveal a lethal maw rimmed with razor-sharp teeth. Bolt revels in Shock’s fascination at these hideous sights.

Just around the bend, we find Anderson standing at the fringe of a stark white room. The Umbrella logo emblazoned on the wall. A “Level 7” security sign hanging elsewhere. On one end of this seemingly sterile stage are six medical tables. Gaunt, grey bodies rest on each surface…save for one table that is empty. Where’s the sixth body? I wonder.

Facing this set-up sits Albert Wesker (Roberts) himself. Hair immaculate and slicked back. Sunglasses on, of course. The actor has bulked up for the role, since Shock last spoke to him. Anderson calls on Roberts to do a take in which he merely has to act like he’s dodging something. On action, Roberts holds a beat then quickly moves to the side of his white chair. Anderson tells us the digital team will composite several throwing knives hitting the chair’s headrest.

Anderson requests another take and Roberts effortlessly avoids the imaginary weapons. He grimaces at the tail end of this dodge, visibly miffed someone just tried to kill him. The director is happy with this and calls for a cut, laughing, “He’s pissed now!” and leaves Shock to give notes to his actor. My journey continues on to the art department where production designer Arvinder Grewal allows us to get a real good of idea of what’s to come in the fourth film.

And surprisingly enough, it appears Anderson is looking to Resident Evil 5, the video game, for inspiration. Not just in design, I’m told, but also in the fight sequences – perhaps Anderson’s way to assuage the clamor from fan boy’s who decry the film series’ narrative departure from the games.

One wall of the department’s massive room is covered in screen grabs from various games, but part five is prevalent. Characters we recognize right away: The Executioner Majini and the Majini with the exposed parasite. There’s also Wesker, Chris and Claire Redfield and the dogs. These images carry us to another portion of the room where there are designs for an Osprey aircraft, a landscape conceptual design evoking a small propeller plane flying over a decimated Los Angeles as well as another image that finds two unidentified characters standing on a rooftop gazing down at a sea of zombies. Grewal also reveals two conceptual pieces to us, one that finds Alice taking out a group of soldiers with some form of telekinesis (think Tetsuo in Akira) and another featuring a tube of water with a female floating inside.

After assessing the countless images, there’s little doubt this is the biggest Resident Evil film to date. And it’s little wonder why they’re shooting it in 3D. There is a ton of potential.

Luckily, we come to learn, Resident Evil: Afterlife is actually being shot in 3D, as opposed to being processed in 3D during post-production. And a sample of the shooting process comes when Bolt hands us a pair of black 3D glasses and seats us before two flat screen 3D monitors. Shock is witness to a new film take during the same scene previously described.

We’re back at the white room occupied by Wesker and those creepy bodies. This time, Jovovich is on set (I think she bathes in the blood of virgins, she doesn’t age) standing in the middle of the medical tables. One of the dogs we saw earlier has been positioned on top of a table. Another dog has his back to us, facing the actress who is on defense from this dangerous canine. Jovovich is wide-eyed, ready to kick some ass. Kim Coates’ character is splayed out on the floor two her left. Something went down…and he’s not looking too good. On screen, the depth of field and 3D work incredible. It’s an odd scene to use as an example, but I get the idea. Furthermore, I’m sold on 3D televisions, especially if they look this good.

As Jovovich waits for action to be called, she exudes a tireless playfulness. She’s palpably excited to be back in Alice’s skin – and I’d venture to presume working with her husband (director Anderson, in case you didn’t know the two were married). Jovovich teases her crew during the downtime and even slips in a sight gag with a pile of fake dog crap just to keep the laughs going.

The take she’s required to do is simple and Anderson yells “Action.”

“I told you I’d be bringing a few friends,” Jovovich says to Wesker (standing off camera). She suddenly dodges an imaginary object (some lethal) and runs into action. Who are those “friends” she’s referring to? You’ll learn soon enough when Resident Evil: Afterlife opens in 2D and 3D in theaters on September 10. And check back here for full interviews with the cast and crew!

Source: http://shocktillyoudrop.com/

Comments are closed.

Wentworth Miller Source is a non-profit site that is no way affiliated with Wentworth himself, his management, co-workers or family members. All images, video footage and other media are copyright to their respective owners, no copyright infringement is intended. This is merely a fan site run by a fan. Privacy Police & Cookies

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.