Case Study

Turning Back the Clock

Supernatural encounters (and meticulously crafted visual effects) enable a widow to reconnect with her deceased husband in the supernatural drama “The Chair.”


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The Chair

Directed by Alain Raymond


As the woman sank into her newly-crafted rocking chair, she thought back to what was taken from her. The clocks had all gone silent, frozen in time, the life choked out of them. One of the larger clocks lay dormant on a bookshelf, its hour, minute and second hands all lying still. But when she sank into the chair, something began to change – she could feel it coming. A power crept through the fine crafted wood. It permeated the walls. It spoke to the clocks. As if hearing a whisper, the larger clock’s second hand began to vibrate, then quiver, until finally it shifted. Tick. Then again. Tock. Tick tock tick tock. It was alive again – except… it was ticking backwards. In that moment the room began to transform, taking on a memory, a presence of life and love.

The beautiful and poignant story presented in “The Chair” makes strong use of visual cues to build tension and anticipation of the supernatural occurrence that enables the protagonist to reconnect to her lost love. The clock whose second hand ticks backwards is pivotal in the narrative.

But the clock holds a secret: THERE IS NO SECOND HAND.

For dozens of shots throughout the film, Some Guy in Anaheim tracked and composited a CGI second hand onto to the existing minute and hour hands of the clockwork in order to serve the critical narrative and emotional anchor of the film. A variety of shots – moving, handheld, partially obscured – all needed the second hand to be added for continuity and to coincide with time-specific events in the story.

In addition, both the chair itself and the surrounding rooms underwent a 3D digital transformation of color and light to reveal the supernatural reversal of time. Some Guy in Anaheim created a series of transformational shots, at different sequences in the story.

Finally, different digital touchups were made throughout the film. Some Guy in Anaheim edited and composited performance timing between characters and touched up set and environment visuals, removing unwanted elements and maintaining continuity.

Altogether the visual effects in “The Chair” played an integral role in telling the Director’s story.

VFX Tasks:

  • Digital creation of clockwork throughout the film
  • Digital performance editing and timing adjustments
  • 3D matchmoving and compositing
  • 3D environmental transitional effects
  • Rotoscoping & Digital Touchup FX
  • Flesh wound FX

VFX Highlights from The Chair

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