Five Nights at Freddy’s director & designer open up on animatronics’ glowing eyes

Virginia Glaze

Five Nights at Freddy’s fans were quick to notice that the animatronics’ eyes glowed in trailers for the movie. Lead designer Robert Bennett and director Emma Tammi explained how they went about this stylistic choice in an exclusive interview with Dexerto.

Five Nights at Freddy’s has received a highly-anticipated Hollywood adaptation after nearly a decade of reigning as a massively successful horror game franchise.

The FNAF series covers a total of 9 mainline games and boasts a wealth of fan-made and spin off titles, each boasting redesigned or totally new versions of the main games’ animatronics.

In fact, a quick look at a list of all the FNAF animatronics ever created is quite expansive and features several unique takes on mascots like Freddy, Bonnie, Foxy, and more, giving them Toy and Shadow versions, among several other variations.

However, some fans were put off by a stylistic choice from the team behind the FNAF film — particularly, that the animatronics’ eyes glow in certain parts of the movie.

In fact, this conversation took over the FNAF fanbase for some time after trailers were first revealed in summer 2023. Many fans seemed upset by this decision, saying it made the creatures look “goofy” and not as creepy as they appeared in the games, although later looks at the movie seemed to have removed this particular facet of their design.

We got the chance to speak to FNAF director Emma Tammi and lead designer Robert Bennett about the animatronics’ eyes and how they went about making them glow for the film.

FNAF film director & designer speak up about animatronics’ glowing eyes

During our conversation, Tammi called the characters’ eyes one of her “favorite parts of the design and build process,” with Bennett saying they were a key part of the animatronics’ overall look and something the team wanted to make sure they perfected for the movie.

“At least for me, any creature or character that we make at the creature shop, the eyes, they’re the soul. I mean, that’s the first thing you look at,” Bennett told us. “It’s kind of the most important part. Everything is important, but it’s just like when you’re talking to somebody, you look directly in the eyes. That’s what sells it, and there’s such a big character in the movie, the eyes themselves.”

A still from the Five Nights at Freddy's movie trailer
The animatronics’ eyes were a major part of their design process, according to FNAF movie director Emma Tammi and lead designer Robert Bennett.

Bennett went on to detail the painstaking amount of work it took to get their eyes to look just right, including figuring out the best material for the LEDs to glow properly. He called the process “challenging,” but felt their eyes looked “amazing” on film.

“I mean, there’s scenes that are very dark where you kind of only see the eyes. We spent a lot of time designing them, figuring out what the right material was for the LEDs behind the eyes to glow correctly. Technically it was kind of challenging, but I’m extremely happy with the final product. I think they really look amazing on camera. We also wanted to make sure that they felt [right for] the period, but also had enough texture and nuance where they just had like a hint of something that felt like a real animal, just to give it that extra layer of empathy.”

Five Nights at Freddy’s comes to theaters on October 26, 2023. It can also be streamed on Peacock.

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About The Author

Virginia is Dexerto's Entertainment Editor and an expert in all things TikTok, YouTube, and influencer-related. Boasting a background in esports, she's been tackling the social media space for over five years. You can reach Virginia at: