• VFX director Robert Legato admits mistakes in CGI and lighting techniques used in an
    Interview With The Vampire
    scene breakdown.
  • Practical effects and digital VFX were combined in the movie to bring the living dead cast and key set pieces to life.
  • Despite critical acclaim, Legato reflects on how he would handle the movie differently with modern technology and more experience.

Nearly 30 years after the movie hit theaters, VFX director Robert Legato candidly reflects on a specific moment from Tom Cruise’s Interview With The Vampire adaptation. The 1994 adaptation of Anne Rice’s iconic gothic horror novel starred Brad Pitt as the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, whose life in 18th century New Orleans is turned upside down upon meeting the charismatic Lestat de Lioncourt (Cruise), who transforms him into a bloodthirsty creature of the night. Interview With The Vampire is celebrated as both a critical and financial hit, earning accolades and major award nominations.

On Corridor Crew‘s latest installment of “VFX Artists React to Bad & Great CGI”, Legato broke down one of Interview with the Vampire‘s major scenes.

Looking back on his first feature, the group looked back on the moment Louis took his revenge on the Paris vampire coven and Claudia’s (Kirsten Dunst) demise. Legato was quick to admit he’d wished he’d tried different techniques, from highlighting a poor CGI burning skeleton, to how he executed a mid-sequence lighting change:

I love film fire stuff, and in dailies, they’re like “Ah, you did a beautiful job!” It’s like, “Oh, it’s fire. It’s hard to beat”… There’s a bad CG shot in here, by the way. That’s bad. The idea was better than the execution… This is the shot where I had to hide a lighting change in the way I operated the shot. So this is the shot I did — It’s a miniature set, and then I tilt up here on purpose to now see the organ. Now, I’ve changed the lighting below so that when I tilt back down it feels like it’s the same lighting scheme, but it’s all a different re-light. Originally, it was all just pulled straight back, and I can’t hide the s—ty lighting that look good here, but doesn’t look good there.

How Do Interview With The Vampire‘s Movie VFX Compare To The TV Series?

Lestat (Tom Cruise) grasping his arm next to a chandelier with lit candles in Interview with the Vampire

Under the leadership of visual effects legend Stan Winston, Legato, and other VFX artists set out to bring Interview With The Vampire to the big screen, uniting to create both key set pieces and the smaller, more detail-heavy effects on the film’s living dead cast themselves. From extreme techniques to capture individual veins to a blend of miniatures and models for property destruction and gruesome demise. Despite these practical elements, digital VFX was carefully incorporated to enhance moments both personal and grandiose, such as the careful additions of blood spilling and roaring fires that Legato mentioned above.


Interview With The Vampire: The Movie’s Biggest Changes To The Book 

Interview With The Vampire, a 1994 gothic horror movie, took some liberties with its source material, the novel of the same name by Anne Rice.

While 28 years had passed between adaptations, AMC’s own Interview With A Vampire has also boasted its own celebrated VFX work, as season 1, episode 3, “Is My Very Nature That of the Devil”, received a Hollywood Professionals Association Award nomination for its visual effects work. The TV series had to navigate filming during the COVID-19 pandemic while also working with expensive historical sets and props that could not be damaged. As such, the show employed digital effects alongside solid “Blood puddles” and even creatives from the original movie to bring Rice’s story to the small screen.

As one of the most beloved vampire tales in pop culture, Interview With The Vampire will always have a place in audience’s hearts, be it the classic 1994 movie or its modern reimagining. With the movie having received such acclaim at the time, it may be surprising to hear Legato speak so critically of his work. However, with Legato offering an honest reflection on one of his earliest jobs, many may wonder how he would handle the movie differently with his greater experience and newer technology.

Interview With The Vampire
is available to stream on Paramount+, while season 2 of the TV series will premiere on May 12 on AMC.

Source: Corridor Crew

Interview with the Vampire

Based on Anne Rice’s 1976 novel, Interview with the Vampire tells the story of two vampires, Lestat and Louis, and their complicated relationship after Lestat turns Louis in 1791. Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt star as Lestat and Louis respectively, with a cast that includes Kirsten Dunst as Claudia, the two men’s young charge who Lestat also turns in an attempt to keep a disillusioned Louis from leaving. Christian Slayter rounds out the cast as Daniel Molloy, a reporter to who Louis tells his story in the mid-1990s. 

Neil Jordan

Release Date
November 11, 1994

The Geffen Film Company

Warner Bros. Pictures

Anne Rice

123 minutes

$60 million

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