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(tiger snarling) (dramatic music) - Oh, Valentine. Valentine was a very challenging, very rewarding and very exciting creature to create. - He stalked up here for a second while you guys were hiding. (growls) - Then we have a zombie tiger in the movie. It's just been a crazy experiment. (tiger roaring) - I spoke with Zack about, okay, how does the zombie tiger act and how do we make it unique? We're not just putting the same tiger with the same movement, and really dove deep into the character of Valentine. Luckily, Zack had some early concept art to go on, so I wanted to give him something that was more of a photo real concept, based on that initial piece of art that he gave me, and I walked Zack through the process of basing Valentine on a similar sized white tiger. So what we ended up doing was cold calling a bunch of big cat rescues across the United States, and there was one in particular that they not only agreed, but they were happy to hear
that we were using visual effects as a tool to create the zombie tiger, versus actually using a practical tiger. So we decided we're going to do this, jumped on a red-eye flight with a bunch of gear and flew down to Tampa, Florida. Sapphire was the name of the tiger we were capturing. We drove to Sapphire's cage. There I met the owner, and she kind of gave us the rundown of everything. Later on, my wife was watching something on our television, and from the other room, I heard this familiar voice, and it just brought me back for a second, and I walk in, and there's the owner of Big Cat Rescue, which was Carol Baskin on "Tiger King." I was like, "Oh my God, I know her," and my wife, she was dumbfounded. She was like, "What?" I was like, "Yeah, that's where we went. "Big Cat Rescue's where we captured the Sapphire footage "that we're using to create Valentine." We used that footage, both for animation, look development, for lighting, but then, in the end, giving it a little bit of character, because it's a zombie tiger. The next step was obviously creating those correct proportions, and then figuring out what a zombie tiger would look like,
and Zack and I had a lot of discussions about, okay, this tiger has been in this grimy, dirty, dry place for five to six years. We discussed the fur, the matting on the fur and manginess to it, and we wanted her to feel threatening, so we want her to have some muscle mass. We also wanted her to feel a little bit emaciated, right? So we want to have some blood, but it's dried blood, but it can't be this punchy red. It has to be a darker, crustier version of it, and then from there, we just continued to develop, and at a certain point, Zack was just like, "Yep, it's good." (tiger snarling) The Martin mauling sequence is definitely my favorite of the movie. We took a lot of care to that sequence. (laughs) It's a lot of fun, especially the ending. - Amazingly, this isn't the first time I've been killed by a tiger on a movie, but it is the first time I've been killed by a zombie tiger. - Martin has the best death ever. It's a pretty cool demise, I'd say. He worked really closely with our amazing stunt team.
For believability, he wanted to do as much of it as he could. - This stuff I've never gotten to do. I've never been on wires for that big of a stunt, to be suspended in the air and whipped around by an invisible tiger, and having to do those reactions. That was a little sore, what I just did then, because of all the... (tiger snarling) (laughs) But I'm proud of it. - And so now we've got to move it into the next phase of taking that animation, taking that photography we shot with the stunt person, doing a performance for eye line and also for interaction with objects, and melding that all together and really coming up with a believable character, with the right interaction with everything in its environment, with a threat to it. I really do believe we successfully executed Valentine. (tiger snarling) (dramatic music)
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