Nonkels: The flaw-some transformation of Willy and Luc Persyn

Everybody is welcome, though the timing must be right

In Nonkels, Jelle De Beule, Rik Verheye and Wim Willaert take on the roles of the brothers Luc Persyn, Willy Persyn and Pol Persyn. Although they are neighbours and run an artificial grass firm together, each of them has a very different outlook on life.

The Persyn family’s life is completely turned upside down when Cameroonian refugee Innocent Dipanda, played by Blaise Afonso, unexpectedly arrives at their doorsteps. It turns out that Luc has been corresponding with Innocent and has casually mentioned that Innocent would always be welcome with him, however, with no intention of Innocent actually coming to Belgium. Not really wanting to send him away either, the family reluctantly decides to take him in.

Whilst the arrival of Innocent causes quite the stir in the family’s entrenched life, we believe that Innocent must have been stunned when arriving at the Persyn estate as well. A place where the grass is greener, stating that quite literally and figuratively.

Nonkels | Trailer | Serie | Streamz (source: YouTube)

Transforming Willy and Luc Persyn

Bringing Luc and Willy to life took more than just some basic make-up. The actors spent quite some time in the make-up chair, as they got extra bits of ‘skin’ pasted on their cheeks, chin and forehead. Even their chests did not escape the treatment. So, the actors went from rocking an otherwise divine body (you are very welcome btw, Jelle and Rik) to having a wrinkly and slightly more senior physique.

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Whilst the make-up artists did their jobs splendidly, there are, unfortunately, always factors beyond their control. As the camera captured all the shenanigans our favourite Nonkels got embroiled in, it also caught the blemishes caused by the prosthetics in high definition. Not really the look the director was going for.
That’s where are team came in. For a couple of weeks, our visual effects artists became digital make-up artists: touching up any flaws, smoothing out all the imperfections and successfully tackling over 400 beauty shots.

How did we do this, you ask? Well, we used Silhouette (Boris FX), a top notch roto and paint tool. Not only was it designed by other vfx-artists/digital make-up artists, this tool is also member of the Netflix Production Technology Alliance. On top of that, it was awarded with some prestigious Academy and Emmy technical awards. In short, Silhouette was the perfect fit for this type of workflow.

rik verheye willy nonkels makeup make-up visual effects vfx
Nonkels | VFX Breakdown | Silhouette (Boris FX)

Taking the Belgian TV-series world by storm

To say that Nonkels didn’t go unnoticed would be an understatement. For example, the best-scoring episode reached well over a million views. An incredible feat that was also achieved by several of the witty, online clips. Since its launch, the series has been in the top three of the most requested for quite some time. In addition to that, Nonkels pulled in a weekly average of 664.000 viewers on Play4.

Due its overwhelming success, the Persyn family isn’t letting the grass grow under their feet: Season 2 is coming soon! So, make sure you watch season 1 of Nonkels on Streamz if you haven’t already!