The Tag-Along 2 Box Office Surpasses the First Film, TWR Reveals Behind the Scenes
Sep 19 2017
The Tag-Along 2, directed by Wei-Hao Cheng, takes the first place for its first weekend box office. The film releases during the Ghost Month of Chinese Lunar Calendar, revitalizing the urban legend of The Little Girl in Red. The Tag-Along 2 became the most talked about horror film of the year in no time. To add the cherry on top, this film also broke the box office record of earning $30 million TWD within three days of release. It remains undefeated as the first-place of 2017 box office in the opening weekend.
The plot centers on social worker Shu-fen Lee, played by Rainie Yang, while she investigates Mei-hua Lin, played by Francesca Kao, for a child-abuse case, Shu-fen receives the news that her daughter is missing. When Shu-fen checks the school’s security camera footage, she sees that her daughter left with a little girl in a red dress. Following a lead after another, Shu-fen ends up in an abandoned hospital in the mountains, but only finds the long-missing radio host, Yi-chun Shen, played by Wei-ning Hsu. When they bring Yi-chun back, the radio host isn’t the only one that tags-along…
After collaborating with Director Wei-Hao Cheng for two award-winning films before, The Tag-Along and Who Killed Cock Robin, TWR once again is appointed for The Tag-Along 2’s VFX production, including hair creation and development of the living mythical creatures. TWR participated throughout the entire production, including concept arts (sets, creatures, etc), onsite supervising, VFX production, post-production, and has since perfected the production pipe-line.
The Tag-Along 2 continues the same setting for the spirit of Mo-shin-a, the film displays various supernatural movements of evil spirits, such as wall-climbing or unphysical movements. In one of the notable scenes, the Little Girl in Red is being seized at Mei-hua’s apartment by Wuleijinbu, a cloth that captures evil spirits. TWR has to display the Little Girl in Red resisting the invisible force of Wuleijinbu through CG and VFX. With much research and development, TWR combines imagination and real-world physics, and successfully bringing director’s vision to life.
The lighting of this scene is essential in creating the correct atmosphere. The story demands this scene to be lit with three flickering lights, which makes the VFX production a lot more difficult. The TWR onset team takes down the light information with not only HDRI, but also with a FARO lidar 3D scanner, which would recreate a virtual version of the set with pinpoint accuracy. To make the shot more eerie, TWR also added shadows, and adjusts color temperature to be colder, so to make it more like an American haunted house.
There are other shots that relies heavily on highly difficult VFX, such as Wei-ning Hsu eating insects, Mo-shin-a fighting the God of Tiger, unnatural thick fog at the amusement park, the Little Girl in Red dissipating into moths, etc. Among these shots, the CGI fog in the amusement park took our team the most effort. With our past experience with dust cloud, the production team creates a key-frame that would ultimately decide the fog’s quantity, speed, and direction for the rest of the scene. This would also ensure the fog’s continuity throughout the film and the efficiency of the overall production.
To take a step further, TWR’s production team applies depth of field to the CGI characters to create the sense of space. The team referenced China’s air pollution for a more realistic display of how different objects would appear in such conditions. The most difficult aspect of CGI fog is how to accurately show the length of depth, which relies on the experiences of VFX composite artists and their sense of art.
Director Wei-Hao Cheng said in an interview that The Tag-Along 2 has a tremendous amount of highly difficult VFX shots. It would usually take a year to complete this kind of projects, but TWR only used six months or so. Director Cheng approves TWR’s professionalism and efficiency with high regard.
TWR Entertainment is honored to complete another record-breaking project with Director Wei-Hao Cheng. Hopefully in the near future, TWR would bring Director Cheng’s next instant-classic to the silver screen; if you have not yet seen The Tag-Along 2, then it is time to experience the most horrifying film of terror.