Marvel Studios’ first Special Presentation, Werewolf By Night, has been widely discussed as a love letter to monsters that was inspired and pays homage to the Classic Universal Monster movies of the early 20th Century. Among the first rumors about the project were that star Gael García Bernal’s lycanthrope appearance would be entirely practical in order to cement that “classic” aesthetic. In a recent interview with Phase Zero, director Michael Giacchino confirmed the rumors and detailed the work-intensive process.
The trailer for Werewolf By Night gave fans ample opportunity to check out the look, including a portion of it where Bernal’s Jack Russell changes into the werewolf, a shot that Giacchino said took months to plan and execute.
Now the other thing about that shot is it was all done in-camera. That’s not a visual effect, that shot. That was all done in-camera and that took months to design and figure out how we were going to do it, but Joe Farrell, our visual effects supervisor, was incredible in helping put that together. But that is almost exactly as I storyboarded that moment, exactly that… so wherever we could do practical, in-camera effects, we did it, and I would say there [are] a ton of them in there, you just would never even know.Michael Giacchino
The use of practical effects absolutely paid off in setting Werewolf By Night apart from other Marvel Studios projects which rely heavily, if not entirely, on VFX. Those effects, in addition to the project being screened in black and white and the campy nature of the writing, have been among aspects of the project listed in what amounts to effusive praise for the project ahead of its October 7th release on Disney Plus. With Giacchino teasing more monsters in the future, perhaps what is old is new again and fans should prepare for a second age of practical effects!
Source: Phase Zero