trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
—e.e. cummings, dive for dreams
Based on an acclaimed novel, Charlie St. Cloud is a romantic drama starring ZAC EFRON (17 Again, Hairspray) as a small-town hero who survives an accident that lets him see the world in a unique way. In this emotionally charged story, he begins a romantic journey in which he embraces the past while discovering the purpose of his life and the transformative power of love.
Accomplished high-school sailor Charlie St. Cloud (Efron) has the adoration of single mother Claire (Academy Award® winner KIM BASINGER, L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile) and little brother Sam (newcomer CHARLIE TAHAN), as well as a scholarship to Stanford that will lead him far from his sleepy Pacific Northwest hometown. But Charlie’s bright future is cut short when tragedy strikes and takes his dreams with it.
During a car accident, the brothers reach out to one another when it looks as if they are about to die. In that moment, Charlie swears to Sam that he will never leave him. But abruptly, Charlie is revived by the intervention of determined paramedic Florio Ferrente (RAY LIOTTA of Goodfellas, Date Night). Sam, tragically, could not be saved.
Charlie is inconsolable. During his little brother’s funeral, he runs from the grave site into the forest behind the cemetery, stumbling upon a small clearing just as day is drawing to a close. In the distance, he hears the sunset cannons sound. Dazed, he looks up and is stunned to see Sam, baseball glove in hand, waiting for Charlie to begin the ball practice that is a part of their evening ritual.
Five years go by and Charlie’s life has taken a different path than the one about which he dreamed. He’s now the caretaker of Seaside Cemetery where Sam is buried, and his sailboat is stored away on blocks. College, friends and family have been abandoned. Every evening at the gloaming hour, just as the cannons sound, Charlie returns to the glade to play catch with Sam. At sunset, Sam vanishes again. Though his brother wants him to move on, Charlie’s promise to Sam is all that matters anymore.
But when his high-school classmate Tess (AMANDA CREW of The Haunting in Connecticut, She’s the Man) returns home unexpectedly, Charlie grows torn between honoring the promise he made years earlier and moving forward with newfound love.
Like Charlie, Tess has a passion for sailing. Unlike him, she has chased her dreams and will soon embark on an ambitious solo voyage around the world as the youngest skipper to ever compete in this harrowing race.
Is it a twist of fate that has brought her into his life now, when she only has a week until she leaves? Just as Sam helps Charlie to find the courage to let go of the past for good and pursue Tess, he discovers the soul most worth saving is his own.
Director BURR STEERS (17 Again, Igby Goes Down) helms Charlie St. Cloud from a screenplay by CRAIG PEARCE (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet) and LEWIS COLICK (Ladder 49, October Sky) that is based on the novel “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud” by BEN SHERWOOD. Producer MARC PLATT (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wanted, Legally Blonde) leads the production team of the romantic drama.
Lending their expertise to Charlie St. Cloud is a team of accomplished filmmakers that includes director of photography ENRIQUE CHEDIAK (28 Weeks Later, The Good Girl), production designer IDA RANDOM (Fast & Furious, Rain Man), costume designer DENISE WINGATE (Wedding Crashers, Live Free or Die Hard), editor PADRAIC MCKINLEY (17 Again, Igby Goes Down) and composer ROLFE KENT (17 Again, Up in the Air). ERIKA MCKEE (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Time Traveler’s Wife) serves as the film’s visual effects producer.
MICHAEL FOTTRELL (Fast & Furious, Live Free or Die Hard), RYAN KAVANAUGH (Dear John, upcoming Immortals), Ben Sherwood, JARED LEBOFF (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wanted) and ADAM SIEGEL (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wanted) serve as the film’s executive producers.
From Page to Screen: Charlie is Found
Author Ben Sherwood’s second book, “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud,” was released in 2004 to critical acclaim and has been translated into 15 languages. The Washington Post proclaimed: “The Sixth Sense meets Field of Dreams in this heartwarming, old-fashioned fable,” while Booklist raved: “Uniquely lyrical, Sherwood’s story of a devotion so strong it transcends death is mystical, magical and moving.”
The novelist crafted his unconventional sophomore effort after a deep loss of his own. “The book came from two very personal places,” reflects Sherwood. “First, the sudden and unexpected loss of my father and the accompanying feelings of profound sadness and being frozen in place and not even realizing how much of an impact that grief can have on one’s life. Second, the liberating, transformative power of love—the way in which love can unlock so many things and give you the strength and motivation to move forward with your life.”
To Sherwood, the first part of this story was about fulfilling a sacred promise to a loved one. As he imagined “Charlie St. Cloud,” he asked himself: “What happens after an accident when two brothers make a vow never to leave each other, and then the paramedics are able to save one but not the other? What happens to that relationship then? And what if one of them could keep that promise to the other?” He sums his premise as: “It’s about a bond between two brothers that can’t be broken.”
Producer Marc Platt recalls his interest in Sherwood’s novel: “The story is challenging because it’s open to interpretation as to what’s real and what’s not. You don’t want to overly sentimentalize notions of loss and love. Yet, cinematically, you want the story relatable and accessible, so there’s a very delicate balance to strike.” As he looked for a performer to play the lost young man, Platt knew he “wanted to find someone with the humanity and charisma that this character possesses, but who wouldn’t be dour and sorrowful.”
The producer first met Zac Efron during the performer’s High School Musical period. Even then, the charismatic young actor impressed him. But when they connected a number of years later, Platt was struck by his maturity. “He was free of any pretense,” recalls Platt. “Zac emanates such humanity and compassion. It was very inspiring to see a young man without any affectation, with a burning desire to work hard and take risks as an actor. As we talked, he related his family history and told me about his younger brother, whom he feels so close to.”
Platt acknowledges that this is a much more mature, dramatic role than Efron has tackled up until now. But Efron was game for the challenge, diving into Charlie St. Cloud’s world with passion and commitment. “He’s got tremendous skill as an actor,” commends Platt. “And he’s worked so very hard to develop this character and understand his subtext.”
When the producer handed him the script, Efron felt an instant connection to Charlie St Cloud. He recalls: “There was a familiarity, a lot that I could relate to and a lot that I recognized in Charlie. It reminded me of the way I connect to my younger brother. I thought Charlie’s relationship with Sam was real and honest, and I admired the qualities that I saw in him. I thought they were very heroic.”
But Efron knew that portraying this complex lead would be a challenging exercise. The actor notes: “It was interesting to step into Charlie’s shoes and play a guy who’s down on his luck, who feels numb and doesn’t think he has much to live for.” He laughs: “I tend to play characters who are more energetic, full of life and dance a lot. But Charlie is very different. The role was a 180-degree change, and that was extremely exciting.”
The author of the novel that Lewis Colick and Craig Pearce adapted into a screenplay had originally written Charlie as a 28-year-old man. For the adaptation, Sherwood knew there would be changes and agreed with the casting decision of a younger actor. He offers: “Zac is a great choice for Charlie. He’s younger than the character I wrote in my book, but when you watch Zac, you really feel all of his character’s promise, potential and hope. Casting him was a brilliant idea, and I’m thrilled that he’s doing it. I think that he’ll break your heart and heal it too.”
Once committed to the film, Efron recommended Burr Steers, the director with whom he had collaborated two years earlier on the smash hit 17 Again. Steers looked forward to another project with Efron and saw this film as the actor’s “passage into being a leading man.” He commends: “Zac’s got that unquantifiable thing that is so rare. You put him in front of a camera, and he just holds it.”
About the source material, Steers reflects: “Ben Sherwood has a very specific point of view. On the one hand, you have to make the material your own, but I also wanted to be faithful to his intentions. When I decided to tackle this project, I knew I wanted to make the relationships Ben created, especially between the two brothers, feel very real to our audience. As a filmmaker, it’s always my intention to respect source material and still create the tone and aesthetic I imagine for a project.”
The director was drawn to the tale of love, loss and renewal and felt he could do justice to the beloved book. What drew him to the project was Charlie’s battle against the odds. Steers continues: “Charlie’s the golden boy of this small sailing town and from a single parent home. He’s working class, and sailing is his ticket out of his circumstances. He’s got a scholarship and everything going for him; his whole future is carved in gold. Then, the night after graduation, he’s driving and this horrible accident happens that derails his entire life. He’s the fallen golden boy, and it’s about him coming to terms with his life, loss and living again.”
Platt first became familiar with Steers’ work in the critically acclaimed Igby Goes Down and was impressed by the director’s eye toward lost youth. About their first encounter, he remembers: “I met Burr because he had read the script. He had lost a brother, so instantly I knew that this was emotion and behavior that he understood; that was a part of who he was.
“Burr is also an actor, and he understands that world,” Platt adds. “The process in this film was very much about getting to the truth of these performances. Then I saw 17 Again, which was more of a lighthearted comedy, but there’s a real heart and soul to it, particularly in Zac’s character; that just clinched it for me.”
Living and the Dead: Casting Supporting Players
Finding the child actor to pair with Efron was the next critical piece of casting for the production. Platt had previously worked with Charlie Tahan on Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, in which Tahan starred opposite Natalie Portman, and was struck by the skill that this young actor brought to the complex drama. Tahan was invited to audition for the part of Sam St. Cloud and, almost easily, garnered the role. Recalls the producer: “Charlie Tahan is a gem, a real find. He has an uncanny ability, whether he’s aware of it or not, of being very much in the moment. And the chemistry between him and Zac is fantastic.”
Tahan brought out something in the cast and crew that none of the other young actors could. Shares Steers: “When you see Charlie, you want to protect him. He brings that out in you, and it’s not because he’s soft; he’s a tough kid from New Jersey. But this kid’s got an amazing soulful face, and he’s just a good actor.”
It would be difficult to play a child who had so suddenly been taken from his family, but Tahan mastered his character very quickly. His bond with Efron is palpable on screen, but they also spent a good deal of time together away from the set. When not practicing their baseball pitches or on the water learning how to sail, the on-screen brothers would see movies together, attend a hockey game, or simply hang out. Of Sam’s Charlie, Tahan says: “Zac is amazing; he’s the king.”
One of the other pivotal roles in the romantic drama is that of Tess Carroll, a high-school friend and gifted sailor who inadvertently creates a reason for Charlie St. Cloud to escape his self-induced prison. Charlie develops deep feelings for the girl he knew so long ago, and Tess represents a chance for him to discover what it’s like to live again.
British Columbia native Amanda Crew was ecstatic to both win the role of Tess and film in her home province. Luckily for her, it was her birthday when she received the call to come in and read opposite Efron. “We met Amanda through the audition process,” says Steers. “She came in and won the part. She’s beautiful, approachable and everything we were looking for. Her personality wins you over immediately. She’s just scratching the surface of her talent.”
Crew offers insight into her character: “Tess has put a lot of pressure on herself by planning to sail around the world. It was her father’s dream for her; she’s been training tirelessly with her coach and has commitments to sponsors. It’s all or nothing. If she fails, she fails so many people. She’s in control of everything in her life and then she meets Charlie, which throws a complete wrench in her plans. She’s feeling things so strongly she can’t ignore them, yet it comes at the worst possible time…because she’s leaving in one week.”
Lending their considerable talents to the project are Oscar®-winning actress Kim Basinger as Claire St. Cloud, Charlie and Sam’s harried mother, and Emmy Award-winning actor Ray Liotta as Florio Ferrente, the dedicated paramedic who saves Charlie’s life after the car accident. Not only did the performers bring years of experience to the set, but they also served as mentors to the younger actors.
Steers offers insight into the role of Sam and Charlie’s mother: “Claire is a single mom working ridiculous hours as a nurse and holding it together to support her sons. Then an accident happens in which her youngest boy is killed. And Charlie essentially dies too. She tries to reach out to him, but you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped; at that point, Charlie doesn’t want to be.”
Working with the celebrated actress was a gratifying experience for the director. “Kim Basinger is amazing in every scene,” he compliments. “She’s so visceral and so in the moment. It was always about making everything as good as it could be. It’s such an important step for our young actors to have the chance to film scenes with people like her. She’s incredibly generous.”
Not only did Basinger look forward to returning to Vancouver, one of her family’s favorite cities, she was quickly pleased to partner with Steers on the project. About working with her director, she commends: “When I first met Burr, I instantly loved him. He’s a highly intelligent man. A good director to me is someone who sees and hears you not just as an actor, but also as a human being. During my first conversation with him, I just knew I liked this person.”
Steers was as equally pleased when Liotta signed onto the film to portray Florio Ferrente. “Having the paramedic be played by Ray Liotta was important because I didn’t want a sentimental actor,” he explains. “There’s something great about casting a tough guy who can still say things from the heart. Florio’s a man who believes. He has faith that there’s a point to everything. It’s why he does his job; he believes there’s a point to living, and that it’s precious. The growth for Zac, to be thrown into a scene with Ray, is incredibly intimidating. But he faced it and holds his own.”
Two motivators encouraged Liotta to sign on for the project. “The biggest reason was my daughter,” he says. “She’s 10 years old and a big Zac fan. Secondly, I have a tendency to get cast in edgy roles, and Florio is decent and helpful and believes in lost causes. In fact, he wears a St. Jude medallion around his neck, as St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes.”
Completing the core cast is Zodiac’s DONAL LOGUE as Tink Weatherbee, Tess’s sailing coach, who prepares for her voyage around the world. “Weatherbee was a competitive sailor at one point and now runs fishing tours,” Ontario native Logue explains. “He was friends with Tess’ father, and when he passed away, Tink found himself in Tess’ life as her sailing coach. He’s threatened by Charlie and by the distraction he presents.”
Time With Ghosts: Charlie’s Unusual Gift
One of the most compelling elements in the story is Charlie’s singular ability to see those who are straddling the delicate expanse between death and life, and those who have been laid to rest in the Seaside Cemetery, where he works. How this facet of Sherwood’s novel should be depicted on film provoked a good deal of discussion among the filmmakers and was also an intriguing part of Steers’ decision to direct the project.
Steers wanted to explore how we continue to carry those people we’ve been close to who have died. He wondered: “How do they still affect us and live on as part of us, long after they’ve passed away? Is Sam a spirit, or is he a figment of Charlie’s imagination? I always wanted to keep both of those possibilities alive. You don’t know if his psyche’s been cracked by this horrible incident, or if he’s really seeing people from beyond. People will think and view this movie very differently.”
Efron explains Charlie’s precarious situation of being able to live between two worlds: “Charlie doesn’t know if he’s insane. All he knows is that for an hour every day at sunset, he’s able to hang out with his little brother again. The ability to see Sam is a huge gift, but at the same time, it’s very much a curse. He becomes very unsocial and a pariah in town. He can’t interact with society anymore, because he’s got this weight that he carries.”
Dexter’s AUGUSTUS PREW plays Alistair Woolley, a fellow cemetery worker who is one of the few friends Charlie has. “Alistair has a strange fascination with Charlie’s predicament,” observes Prew. “He is one of the only people who understands Charlie’s visions or who has any empathy for what he sees. Perhaps he even believes him. What’s important for Alistair is to find out whether it’s true: whether Charlie does see ghosts or if it’s all in his head and he’s a guy who needs help.”
Platt notes that this aspect of the tale is quite open to interpretation. “If you want this to be a ghost story, it’s a ghost story,” he says. “If you believe ghosts are real, they are real in this film. If you think it’s imagined, you can interpret it that way. But it’s definitely spiritual in the sense that all of us are yearning for connections in our life— connections to people who are living and to those who are no longer among us. Much of this film is what the audience brings to it and how they interpret it.”
Smooth Sailing: Lensing on Water
Cast and crew converged at the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club in West Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 31, 2009, to begin principal photography. It was here that the dramatic sailing sequence that opens the story was filmed. The race has Charlie and Sam aboard their beloved dinghy in a heated competition against many of Charlie’s peers, including Tess Carroll. It showcases Charlie’s brilliant prowess at the helm of his craft, his competitive spirit and his close relationship with his younger brother.
Reveals Steers of the scene that opens the film: “We establish the character of Charlie as this guy who has everything going against him. He’s dead last in a race against the rich kids in their fancy boats, while he and Sam are sailing an old, revamped boat they’ve named “Splendid Splinter,” a nickname for celebrated Boston Red Sox left fielder Ted Williams. Yet, Charlie is such a great sailor and strategist that he is able to outmaneuver the other boats and win the race.”
ThisFilming at this location required a great deal of advance preparation by every department and member of the crew. Location manager KIRK JOHNS offers some insight into the intense logistical planning. “When shooting on water, you have to minimize everything,” he provides, “strip it down to basic necessities. Once you leave the dock, you don’t want to have to come back. You need a great deal of planning beforehand. As well, because it’s easier to move people than equipment, we ended up establishing a mother barge where we could station our equipment and wardrobe needs.”
This barge served as a base camp for the equipment that would need to be accessed by the camera, electric, grip, wardrobe and various other departments. A number of class 29 and 420 sailboats were purchased and members of the Eagle Harbour junior sailing program were hired to race them. A complex camera boat was rigged to shoot on the water and numerous support vessels were on hand to house and shuttle cast, crew and equipment from boat to boat to base camp. The team’s safety was of paramount importance.
GARY CAPO was brought on board as second unit director and was a tremendous asset in the choreography of this and other sequences. As well, unit production manager and executive producer Michael Fottrell approached JASON RHODES, a sailing coach in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games to serve as sailboat coordinator. As neither Efron, Tahan or Crew had previous sailing experience, STERLING BANCROFT was tasked with teaching them to sail—a process to which all three actors thoroughly committed.
Efron has long admired the beauty of the sport, and he admits that he can now see how sailors become immersed in the sport. Says Efron of his introduction to sailing: “Initially, it was difficult to learn. There are so many factors that go into it. It’s not just wind blowing into a sail and propelling your boat. It’s incredibly precise. One mistake, one lapse in judgment, and it can very quickly capsize. I was shocked when I got out on the water in these small boats. On the first day of sailing lessons, my instructor made a point of capsizing the boat. The boat flipped over, and I was dumped in the water. I was scared, but I also got it out of my system.”
His instructor was impressed by Efron’s ability to pick up the necessary skills. “Zac is such a strong sailor, and he loved it,” notes Bancroft. “I also showed him a few special moves that racing sailors will pick up on. My goal was that he have every badge of legitimacy and credibility that a sailor should have.”
Another substantial challenge Steers and the other filmmakers faced was locating an Open 50 Class (50-foot) racing boat to transform into Crew’s boat, The Querencia. In the novel, The Querencia (in Spanish, “a place to call home”) is an Open 50 class boat, the type used to solo circumnavigate the globe. It is a major prop in the story that validates Tess’ commitment to sail by herself around the world. The crew looked at several available boats in that class and came across the Open 50 Gryphon Solo, owned by legendary American clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger.
The production was in awe of the decorated history of the vessel. Capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots, the Gryphon holds the 24-hour world speed record for a 50foot yacht. As well, she won her class in the 2002/2003 Around Alone race by a huge margin, won the 2005 Transat Jacques Vabre and the 2007 Bermuda One-Two, and took second in the 2004 Artemis Transat race.
Sailboat coordinator Rhodes puts this incredibly dangerous sport in perspective. “There are only about 250 people who have single-handedly sailed around the world. In contrast, there are more than 1,000 people who have climbed to the top of Mount Everest,” he says. “Not many people actually make it around the world by themselves.
Even fewer in a racing boat like this. Our boat has been around the world twice, which is a huge testament to how good a boat she is.” As the boat was docked in Rhode Island, time constraints prevented taking her by water through the Panama Canal and up the west coast to Vancouver. Instead, highly trained technicians were hired to remove the Gryphon’s 13-foot cantilevered keel and drive the vessel across the U.S. and into Canada, where it was reassembled, made seaworthy and renamed The Querencia for the production.
Crew’s performance held many challenges, not the least of which was portraying a young woman who has set a monumental goal for herself. Her character was loosely modeled after Emma Richards, who in 2002-2003 became the first British woman and the youngest person ever to complete the grueling Around Alone, a 29,000-mile, single-handed around-the-world yacht race.
Crew was stunned by her research into these solo races. The actress explains: “You’re up for four hours, then you sleep for 20 minutes, and you’re up for another four hours. These are your shifts because if something happens, you don’t want to be dozing when it does. You’re never getting a full night’s sleep, you’re never eating properly, and you have to stay incredibly fit and strong because you’re manning this 50-foot boat all by yourself.” She reveals: “You won’t see this, but when we were filming on The Querencia, there were actually eight guys working on that boat. I wondered in amazement how one girl could do this all by herself.”
Though Efron was quick to rise to the physical challenges in the film, perhaps the most difficult was Tess’ dramatic rescue from underneath The Querencia after it capsizes on a jagged ridge of outer rocks. To film this dramatic sequence, an enormous tank was erected inside the studio. Thirteen feet tall and 72 feet in diameter, it held 325,000 gallons of water and took one day to fill and four days to heat. Once ready, a 9,000-ton aluminum copy of inverted sections of The Querencia was slowly lowered inside the tank. Efron, guided by stunt coordinator MARNY ENG and a team of divers, spent three days filming these underwater scenes inside and underneath the boat.
Ultimately, three different versions of the racing yacht were required to support the story line. First, special Carroll sails were designed, crafted and installed on the repainted Gryphon Solo. Second, an upside-down version of its hull was built to represent the wreck that Charlie, Tink and Alistair come upon in their search for Tess.
Filmed in the open ocean, this set piece was created using a 50-year-old boat— with 4,000 pounds of fiberglass and foam sculpted into its underside—and then moved into position with the aid of tugboats. Finally, the aforementioned aluminum version served as both an interior and exterior underwater set, for close-ups of the dramatic rescue. The ultimate challenge was to get all three boats to match each other so well that audiences would never know these were actually three unique set pieces.
Welcome to Quincy: Filming Charlie’s World
Though Sherwood’s novel is set in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the filmmakers decided to play out the story on the opposite coast, in the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver, British Columbia, and surrounding areas became the setting for this narrative, with multiple locations providing the geographic elements the filmmakers needed.
Production designer Ida Random had her work cut out for her as she imagined Charlie and Sam’s world. “Burr had a very definite vision for this film,” she explains. “We loved the Andrew Wyeth feeling of it, and I started collaging a lot of pictures, such as headstones. For our angels and headstones, Burr wanted to personally look at all of them. Similarly, with the sailboats, he was very specific about each color on every boat in the opening race. It was a challenge to keep a delicate design balance. Everything had to be perfect, but not noticeable. Things were real, and yet they were not. Believable, yet unbelievable, too.”
Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands was the template for the fictitious town of Quincy. But to create this small, picturesque harbor community, three locations were utilized: Gibsons, Steveston and Deep Cove. All of these are seaside towns that were blended together to create Charlie’s hometown. As well, North Vancouver Cemetery, at the base of the North Shore Mountains, doubled for Seaside Cemetery, where Charlie works and Sam is buried.
The exterior of Charlie’s caretaker cottage was erected at Minaty Bay near Brittania Beach, where additional water sequences were also filmed. The coffee shop in which Florio Ferrente tries to convince Charlie to move on with his life is the historic bar Molly’s Reach, in Gibsons, B.C. Molly’s Reach was made famous by the long-running Canadian television series The Beachcombers, which filmed at that location for more than 13 years.
Other locations include Seycove Secondary School, where Charlie’s graduation was lensed; Grebe Islets, in which the wreck of The Querencia is found; Central Park in Burnaby, which doubled as the Great Lawn; and Rice Lake Seymour Watershed, the pond where Sam and Charlie are comically attacked by geese.
There was a good deal of discussion about the glade behind the cemetery where Charlie and Sam meet at the close of each day when the cannons sound. It was a vitally important setting in both the novel and the film. Because the time of day was always sunset, it made the filmmakers vulnerable to time constraints in which to shoot during the magic hour. It was ultimately decided to re-create this otherworldly setting on a sound stage.
The look and feel of the glade was inspired by a serene section of forest in North Vancouver where Random would often walk her dog. Construction coordinator BRIAN SHELL advises that the glade, approximately 150 feet by 50 feet, was unusual in its high-sided, bowl-shaped design. It took five weeks to build and assemble, and it was dressed with more than 200 trees salvaged from other productions and cleared building sites, as well as indigenous shrubs and mosses. As peaceful as it was, through much of the film both brothers are searching for the type of respite they are so close to finding.
To complement the practical design and actual locations created for the film, Steers brought on board visual effects teams led by visual effects producer Erika McGee. Under her guidance, RHYTHM & HUES STUDIOS and DYFED designed the majority of the film’s VFX. These two shops received support from MR. X and LEVEL 256.