Post Magazine

April 2016

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Page 23 of 51 22 POST APRIL 2016 BIG VFX SMALL SCREEN, BY CHRISTINE BUNISH STUDIOS DELIVER FEATURE FILM-QUALITY VFX ON EPISODIC BUDGETS & SCHEDULES f the small screen looks more and more like the big screen these days, it's in no small measure due to the feature film-quality VFX that take viewers on time travels and interplanetary jour- neys, and endow superheroes and other beings with extraordinary powers. "It's almost silly to think of shows like Game of Thrones, Vikings and Black Sails as TV," muses VFX supervisor Bob Munroe. "You're getting something that's half-a-feature film in duration every week." Here, Post speaks exclusively with the VFX supervisors and creatives about how three of television's newest shows are upping the ante on visual effects. THE EXPANSE Based on the novel series by James S. A. Corey, The Expanse is set several hundred years in the future in a fully colonized solar system. Season 1, which premiered on Syfy last December, followed the hunt for a missing young woman and a looming conflict between Earth and a renegade Mars that threatens humanity. Having gotten the green light for a Season 2, production for it is now underway in Toronto. The mandate for the show's look is anything but slick and shiny futurism. The solar system definitely has that lived-in feel. "Mars is the new kid on the block and has more new technology and new toys, but everything else is at least a hun- dred years old when we see it," explains Bob Munroe, VFX supervisor and second unit director for The Expanse. "There are a lot of rough edges in the solar system, a lot of the ships out there are clunkers, and we show this in the VFX," says Darren Cranford, co-found- er and executive director of Keyframe Digital (, a VFX house in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. "The books are very grounded in scientific fact, and they wanted that reflected in the show," he adds. Munroe opted to distribute the exten- I

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