Special effects miniature for The Wolfman.
Mattes and Miniatures built a 1:3 scale miniature of Chatsworth House for multiple burns on the Pinewood Studios backlot.
Travelling to Talbot Hall, the main character, Lawrence, passes through the village of Blackmoor.
Filmed on location in Castle Combe in Wiltshire, Double Negative added overcast skies to village scenes and handled digital enhancements of Chatsworth House, a stately home in Derbyshire that served as the exterior of Talbot’s home.
“The mansion was supposed to be run down with ten years of disrepair,” said Steve Begg. “They wanted a great deal of creepers and vines covering the building so they were matte painted onto Chatsworth plates. We also added a CG dome on top of the building. The building had to burn to the ground in the end of the film, so we had Mattes and Miniatures, a company based at Bray Studios and run by Leigh Took, build a 1/3-scale façade of Chatsworth House that we set on fire.”
The production conducted photo surveys and lidar scans of Chatsworth House, which Mattes and Miniatures referenced along with draftsman’s drawings to build the miniature façade.
The structure stood approximately 24 feet tall, built as a medium density fiberboard chassis clad onto steel scaffolding. “All the moldings and bits that were going to take a lot of the heat we cast in jesmonite,” said miniatures supervisor Leigh Took. “That’s a fire retardant acrylic mixed with plaster.
We welded all the window frames out of metal so that they wouldn’t distort with heat, and we also built a full-sized window for fire elements.”
To dress the miniature with creepers that could withstand multiple burns, modelmakers used computer numeric control to cut vine shapes from thin sheets of brass.
Paul Corbould’s team then fitted pyrotechnic rigging using pressurized containers that fed flammable liquids into atomizing jets.
Technicians assembled the miniature on three-foot-tall steel decks backed by stabilizing counterweights on the Pinewood backlot.
Steve Begg and director of miniature photography Peter Talbot then shot the model against the Buckinghamshire sky, including motion control time-lapse shots of sunsets and encroaching night.