Whilst HBO are grinding away at their TV adaptation for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, a small group of Hollywood VFX artists took to the world themselves and made a short, seven minute film inspired by the game. Created by Josh Toonen, a VFX artist who has worked on such projects as The Rise of Skywalker and Godzilla vs. Kong, Stay is a short film that tells the story of two survivors trying to make their way to the Santa Monica pier.
The Infected are brought to life in bloody, skin-crawling detail by visual effects and video game industry professionals. 7 separate film locations and 100+ VFX shots flesh out the bleak, decaying atmosphere and expand upon the environmental storytelling from the game.
Stay opens with Ellie performing an original cover of Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Credence Clearwater Survival. The final film was shot in Wisconsin during the pandemic and fully-realized by 40 different cast and crew members across the globe.
Stay can be viewed above, and those interested in the behind-the-scenes can take a look at Toonen’s website, which details how they achieved many of their sets and special effects.