Kafka is the most acclaimed writer of the Twentieth Century, recognised as the father of modern literature. Metamorphosis has become one of the most iconic and enduringly popular novellas of all time. Written 100 years ago, 2012 marks the centenary and the release of Director Chris Swanton's screen version.
Kafka's story is the tale of Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman, who wakes up one morning after disturbing dreams to find himself transformed in his bed into a giant insect-like creature. The story traces the interaction of Gregor and his family as he slowly starves to death for want of the right kind of sustenance. His death brings relief and rejoicing for his family, and releases them to a new, fresher, more positive and independent life without him.
Kafka's prose is vividly visualistic in its attention to striking detail and cartoon-like grotesqueness. It presents a surreal world within a naturalistic framework, a wholly credible externalisation of inner doubt, guilt, despair, self-disgust, self-pity and the laming fear of inadequacy and failure.
Filmed at Halliford Studios, Shepperton by Director of Photography John Daly, the VFX crew, led by VFX Director William Rockall, spent the following 18 months designing and creating Gregor Samsa in his creature form. The design of Gregor was particularly challenging as the viewer was required to maintain a level of empathy for what was described in the book as effectively a hideous vermin.
CG Supervisor Simon Hodgkiss referenced hundreds of images of real insects before a final design was settled on.