RSVFX helps recreate the iconic appendage for Tim Burton’s WEDNESDAY
Emmy nominated visual effects studio Rocket Science (RSVFX) partnered with legendary Director Tim Burton and Show Creators Miles Millar and Allan Gough to help recreate the iconic THING character for the TV series WEDNESDAY, now streaming on Netflix.
Led by Production VFX Supervisor Tom Turnbull and VFX Producer Kent Johnson, within three weeks of release, WEDNESDAY became the second-most watched English-language series on Netflix. John Coldrick, VFX Supervisor and Kayden Anderson, VFX Producer led the RSVFX team.
“We are very proud of our team’s work in helping to catapult WEDNESDAY to one of Netflix’s most watched series. We thank MGM, Netflix, Miles, Al and of course, Tom and Kent for collaborating with us on the stand out character ‘Thing’. It has been an immensely rewarding experience. We are looking forward to where this journey takes us in Season 2.” Anthony Paterson, CEO / Executive VFX Supervisor
The RSVFX team delivered over 300 shots across the record breaking series, with the majority of the scope of work focused on ‘Thing’, along with Wednesday’s Scorpio-Pet, digital doubles, dynamic CG fire, explosion and fx simulations with additional supporting visual effects.
“The team nailed ‘Thing’. We created a partial rig consisting of the wrist and the hand down to the finger base. This was tracked onto the stunt performer in the plate. We often had to tweak the wrist performance to create the illusion of a bodiless hand. It was challenging to remove almost the entirety of the stunt actor in a significant number of shots, recreating elements with a moving camera. And occasionally we would adjust ‘Thing’s’ fingers in the plate to help illustrate the physics of a stand-alone hand maintaining its balance.” John Coldrick, RSVFX Supervisor.
The disembodied hand was conceived with a combination of hand acting, from Magician come Actor Victor Dorobantu dressed in a blue suit, prosthetics to add the stump to his real hand, and the Rocket Science visual effects team seamlessly integrating ‘Thing’ into frame.
The process was intense, as described by Production VFX Supervisor, Tom Turnbull, “…the process was painting out 90% of the human being and keeping 10% which is the hand. Its actually very hard to do.”
“Realizing ‘Thing’ was more challenging than it looks. For many of the complex shots we had to troubleshoot to devise unique solutions. Maintaining the actor’s hand performance and recapturing the environment with fidelity was not a one size fits all scenario”. Kayden Anderson, RSVFX Producer
WEDNESDAY, directed by Tim Burton, created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, is an American coming-of-age supernatural mystery comedy horror series based on the character Wednesday Addams.
Rocket Science is an Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio collaborating with filmmakers to create stunning visual imagery utilizing artistry, science and technology. Located in Toronto, Canada, notable credits include Eric Kripke’s Emmy nominated superhero series THE BOYS (Amazon),Tim Burton’s streaming hit sensation WEDNESDAY (Netflix), the epic video game adaptation HALO (Paramount +), Steve Blackman’s THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix) and the recently released POKER FACE (Peacock) from Rian Johnson. The multifaceted VFX studio also boasts features such as David Cronenberg’s CRIMES OF THE FUTURE, Noah Baumbach’s WHITE NOISE (Netflix) and Rachel Morrison’s soon to be released FLINT STRONG (MGM).
RSVFX is currently in production on Mike Flanagan’s Edgar Allan Poe adaptation THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (Netflix), the fourth season of THE BOYS and its upcoming spinoff GEN V for Amazon, Jeremy Garelick’s MURDER MYSTERY 2 (Netflix) and FREAKY TALES (eOne), written and directed by CAPTAIN MARVEL duo, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.