The groundbreaking film Hardcore Henry is the first action movie shot entirely from a first-person perspective, putting the viewer inside the protagonist’s head. Directed by Illya Naishuller, the story follows Henry, a cyborg who wreaks mayhem on a mission to save his wife/creator from a psychotic tyrant with telekinetic powers – while the audience watches everything unfold through his eyes.
Visual effects were key to achieving the authentic look of the POV film, as well as creating the illusion that the neck-breaking pace, jaw-dropping stunts, and adrenaline-fueled action that drives this futuristic thriller are playing out in real-time as one continuous shot. The untraditional perspective presented a unique set of challenges for VFX Legion, inspiring our team to think out-of-the-box and come up with innovative digital solutions for the 70+ shots we created for the film.
GoPro cameras mounted on helmets were used to shoot the film from the first-person perspective. Wide-angle lenses captured shots with the scope needed to create the illusion of a single take, but not without squeezing and distorting the footage.
Legion’s team met the challenge of unwarping the images, along with providing an efficient approach to stitching together countless takes of lightning-paced action into a seamless visual story. We also handled a mix of detailed shots, from complex tracking, erasing stunt rigging, harnesses and other fixes to photo-realistic muzzle flashes, bullet hits, and blood splatters that heightened the impact of the violence and frenzy that are integral elements of the film.
The visual effects we created for Hardcore Henry impressed Naishuller and led to us working on a considerably larger number of shots than originally assigned. We were also tasked with revisiting VFX sequences that the director thought would benefit from the caliber of work that our team consistently delivered throughout the production. For VFX Legion, there’s no higher praise then earning that level of confidence.