I was inspired to write this film when my wife told me a true story that had happened to one of her friends when she was a little kid in Colombia. When she was a child one of her friends had disappeared in an accident and they never found her. After the accident creepy things started happening to the girls family and friends. Since I knew we had a vacation coming up in Colombia to visit family, I finished writing the story and we decided to go for it!

 

 

I have been in vfx and animation for years, but I had always wanted to make a short horror film like the movies I loved, like The Conjuring and The Ring. We spent as much time prepping for the film before we left since we didn’t want to overshadow our family vacation. We put family time first as we quickly recruited crew, held auditions, and filmed entirely in one long day. We were all exhausted by the end of day and even frightened ourselves by the creepy scenes.

 

Once we returned home I started editing and created all of the visual effects for the film. As I edited though I realized I had a problem and was missing a few pickup shots that I had missed in the frantic chaos of the shoot. With the location 3,500 miles away in Colombia, I couldn’t easily go back and film. Instead I recreated the locations in CG by 3D modeling the sets and then “filming” the shots using Maya and Arnold. This ended up working out better since it allowed me to do nice camera moves and add better lighting effects.

 

 

The short film ended up having 23 vfx shots ranging from simple phone screen replacements to full CG shots with animated characters. Since completion El Aura Azul has been haunting audiences in film festivals worldwide!

-Andy Harbeck