Outpost completes VFX for Netflix's <i>iBoy</i>
March 13, 2017

Outpost completes VFX for Netflix's iBoy

BOURNEMOUTH, UK — Outpost (outpostvfx.co.uk) was the sole provider of VFX for the Wigwam Films/Neftlix project, iBoy, directed by Adam Randall and based on the Kevin Brooks novel. The film stars Bill Milner, Maisie Williams, Rory Kinnear and Miranda Richardson, and tells the story of 16-year-old Tom, who awakens from a coma to discover that fragments of his smartphone have embedded in his brain, giving him superhero powers. 

Outpost provided all 150 shots, the vast amount of which were coined ‘iVision.’ The effect details how protagonist connects with and manipulates technology. These shots consisted of motion graphic elements that were composited using The Foundry’s Nuke.  The work also involved numerous digital matte paintings in and around London, greenscreen window replacements, sound effects enhancement and basic cleanup/wire removal/crew removal.

Key sequences included the bus and school scenes where Tom first begins to understand and exploit his powers. Another key sequence is when Tom is in control of powers and uses them to first hack the GPS of a phone, then a series of drones and helicopters, and then finally to pinpoint a car on a map using license plate recognition. The sequence moved between third and first person, and the challenge was to design all his iVision to work across multiple angles and with sometimes quite cluttered backgrounds.

Outpost VFX supervisor David Sadler-Coppard was running this project and on-set throughout, working closely with director, Adam Randall. 

“The set was in Stratford and the crew built the entire floor of Tom’s flat for all the interiors,” explains Sadler-Coppard. “This is where we had to do some greenscreen city replacements as well as a lot of iVision technology augmentation.”

The rest of the film was shot in and around East London, particularly Hackey, Stratford and Shoreditch. There was also a drone, Scorpion and helicopter shoot. Crow Town in the film was shot at Middlesex Street Estate.

“The second challenge was the turnaround on the job,” says Sadler-Coppard. “We had approximately seven weeks to design, animate and comp all the iVision shots, as well as a big CG superpower and the entire title sequence. Due to the nature of the shots being so creative, we would deliver work in progress every single night for the director to see and comment on the next day to ensure no time was wasted. It ended up working well given Randall’s direction was always clear, helpful and concise. The team did an excellent job. Everything came together very nicely and it was a pleasure to be involved in iBoy”.

This is the second feature Outpost completed with Wigwam Films, following Under The Shadow, which was released earlier this month. iBoy was made globally available to watch on Netflix from January 27th.