What We Do In The Shadows’ baby Colin Robinson was inspired by Marlon Wayans in Little Man

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What We Do In The Shadows
What We Do In The Shadows

Mark Proksch’s Colin Robinson died at the end of What We Do In The Shadows’ third season, but the character has (sort of) returned to the FX series in its new season as a baby version of himself… but rather than just find a baby that looks like Mark Proksch (which, no offense, seems pretty easy), the series instead chose to take a real baby (and toddler, as Baby Colin ages) and just put Proksch’s head on the tiny body.

It makes for a disturbing and funny image, but the What We Do In The Shadows cast and crew revealed during a San Diego Comic-Con panel today that it wasn’t always the plan to do it like that. Proksch explained that they were trying various green screen effects to put his face on a child’s body, including mapping his face onto a child’s face, but that just ended up looking “like a video game cutscene.”

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So, just a few days before filming began on the new season, director Kyle Newacheck was struck with inspiration—because, after all, there was a feature film that had to solve this same problem many years ago: “I knew exactly where to go,” Newacheck explained on the panel, “A movie by the Wayans brothers called Little Man.” Yes, the awful 2006 comedy where Marlon Wayans plays an adult man who is mistaken for a toddler, using a bizarre head-replacing effect that isn’t so much convincing as it is compelling.


Little Man - Funniest scenes

“I’ve always been fascinated with how they did that, like 20 years ago I was like ‘how’d they do that magic trick?’” Newacheck says they used the same technique that movie did but with more modern technology, so rather than putting Proksch’s face on a baby face, they scanned his entire head, had him move his head to mimic the movements of the actual baby actor, and then just “put his whole head onto the child.”

It works, at least in the heightened reality of What We Do In The Shadows, but the panel did note that they’re “still finishing the season,” so it’s not exactly an effortless process. Maybe that’s why nobody has tried making anything like Little Man in the last 16 years? Yeah, that’s gotta be it.