09 Aug 2021

VFX for Grandson and Jessie Reyez in Music Video for ‘The Suicide Squad’

When James Gunn starts working on a movie, you bet there’s going to be loads of bangers in the soundtrack. ‘The Suicide Squad’ features just enough of them to make us singing in the shower constantly. ‘Rain’ by grandson and Jessie Reyez even trapped Gunn himself, as the director called it “the emotional heart” of the movie.

vfx for grandson and jessie reyez

We could hear ‘Rain’ in a trailer to ‘The Suicide Squad’ movie in June 2021, but it was a week before the theatrical premiere of the movie, when grandson and Jessie Reyez dropped an official video for the track. The video features unpublished scenes from ‘The Suicide Squad’ 2021 edition, or ‘Suicide Squad 2’ as some would say, and brings both singers into the world of Harley Quinn and Bloodsport. With them, Jessie and grandson fight for their life and eventually – prevail.

Reviews from production and postproduction teams

To merge two worlds, fictional and real, is a difficult task. It gets extreme on a tight schedule and a small budget. The team spent 17+ hours on the set, and managed to shoot fight sequences, dance sequences, rain effects and stunts – all in one day. The task seemed impossible, but Mad Ruk with Ray Mendoza, Mauricio Ruiz, and John Poliquin on board pulled it off together with the help of astonishing production and postproduction teams.

grandson and jessie reyez - rain (the-suicide-squad)

John Poliquin, director

“Warner Bros. sent us shots from the new ‘Suicide Squad’ movie, and my job was to integrate them seamlessly into the music video. We decided to shoot most of the scenes in a nightclub, and I am super grateful to Kendra and her team for the great work she’s done to the place. The idea was to portray two elements – earth and water – through our artists. Together they make a natural force that beats bad guys with vines and blossoms. We were working with The Frender, so we knew that visual effects would look great after postproduction.”

Rey Medoza, executive producer

“It was important for us to get a venue at a nightclub with a big parking lot. That’s where we shot our rain scene. We literally made it rain there, and it looked awesome – grandson and Jessie Reyez performing in the rain at 2 PM at a Los Angeles parking lot.”

Kendra, art department

“Our team had just a couple days to prepare for the shoot, but we managed to do the impossible due to our coordinated teamwork. The biggest problem though, was to make the ivy vines look lifelike. Sure, VFX production would draw them nicely, but the vines entwined people’s bodies – we had to use something to make it all believable. So we used latex vines and real ivy plants, stitched them with a fishing line and shot it all in reverse. Later, guys for The Frender added CG plants on top, and it worked out great.”

Max Colt, VFX supervisor

“Prior to ‘Rain’, our VFX studio had already had some projects with Mad Ruk and Jessie Reyez. We were ready for any level of complexity here. So when Warner Bros. provided us with footage from the movie, we managed to recreate this ‘Suicide Squad’ vibe for the music video. For instance, we successfully integrated reflections from the movie into the beginning of the video – where grandson is looking out of the bus window. But it took us a lot of time to design CGI ivy vines and to simulate its weaving around soldiers’ bodies. 3D blossoms and petals required some effort as well. The scene where the soldiers got shattered into small flowers and leaves is my personal favorite. Overall, we spent one month for post-production of this project.”


Grandson and Jessie Reyez - Rain [Music video]

Strength and tenderness got beautifully combined in ‘Rain’, both lyrically and visually. Check it out for yourself below:

Grandson and Jessie Reyez - Rain [Music video]