Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Toronto Diary Day Twelve

by Ty Franck

So, this will be sort of a short one.

Today we did a VFX spotting session, where we went through an episode scene by scene and discussed the specific Visual Effects in those scenes. Our even block VFX supervisor, Bret Culp, sat with us and took notes and asked questions and helped dial it in. It’s astonishing how much work goes into planning and then executing the VFX for this show.

We also did a VFX meeting to discuss motion capture (our first time on the show) and the VFX team led that conversation. It’s a complicated project bring mocap from a dude in a funny dotted suit, all the way to a fully animated thing that’s photorealistic for the show. But they really seem to know how to make it happen.

Huge bravo to that team. They really elevate the entire process.

Oh, and it occurs to me we haven’t discussed blocks. So, we block shoot our episodes, which means we shoot two episodes at a time, with one director working on both. So, odd blocks are eps 1 and 2, even block is ep 3 and 4, and so on. Bret is the even block VFX supervisor, and Bob Munroe is odd block. We also have two assistant director groups, one for even block and one for odd block. It means at any given time, two episodes are in prep, two episodes are shooting, and two episodes are in post.

I also managed to make it down to the set and watch a few scenes from episode 12 being shot. Our block 6 director (block six is episodes 11 and 12) is Rob Leiberman. You may remember his name from episodes 5 and 6 last year. So wanted to spend a little time with Rob and catch up and see some of his scenes even though I’m not officially producing his episodes (we’re producing episodes 2 and 13 this year, since we wrote them).

That doesn’t mean it was all just fun and games. There’s a complicated handoff from episode 12 to episode 13 and I tagged along while the two directors figured out the blocking. I was there to answer questions about the story so that whatever solution they came up with kept all the story elements intact across both episodes. They came to an agreement quickly, and I think this potentially tricky transition will be pretty smooth.

As a fun side tidbit, while I was hanging out with Rob I got to watch Frankie Adams, in her Bobbie Draper awesomeness, intimidate and then beat the crap out of someone. So that was the highlight of my day.

Tomorrow is our episode 13 first shooting day! Wish us luck.

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1 Response »

  1. Hmm, assuming the mo-cap is for the thing that attacks the Marines on Ganymede? Man, I can’t wait for season 2!