Netflix kicked 2017 off with its adaptation of the successful YA novels A Series of Unfortunate Events. The new series proved to be hit for the streaming giant, reportedly nabbing more views than even Marvel’s Luke Cage did on its first weekend. Since then, fans have been treated to a number of discussions comparing the series to its one-and-done cinematic counterpart, and to the books by Lemony Snicket, aka Daniel Handler. But one thing they may not have seen is a behind-the-scenes look at how the visually impressive series came together.
Now, a new video offers audiences just that. In what has become commonplace for popular effects-heavy television programs and films, like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Captain America: Civil War, fans can now see all the digital artistry that went into bringing A Series of Unfortunate Events to life.
Zoic Studios, the VFX artists behind the series has released a show-reel that breaks down the design stages of some of their best work on the series. First reported by iO9, the reel’s highlights range from compositing actors into CGI trolleys to safer visual techniques for “dangling” a baby actor on one hand in mid-air.
The reel breaks down much of the digital layering that went into creating the world of this first season, which focuses on the first four books. While much of the series demands extensive practical prosthetics work, especially for Neil Patrick Harris’s Count Olaf, much of the almost constantly unveiling universe encountered by the Baudelaire orphans is CGI.
The post-production flying lizards (not to mention daggers and playing cards) are impressive, but the green screen before and after reveals will satisfy dedicated fans of the show. A closer examination proves just how many environments were compiled together to create a seamless driving sequence, or the cityscape around it. While we assumed Sunny, played by infant actor Presley Smith, was nowhere near the Reptile Room’s black serpent, it’s interesting that neither the CGI snake nor the kid herself were in the main shot.
While the reel does showcase the standout Zoic sequences, it certainly leaves you wanting more information. Not all of the shots are broken down to their compositing, and there are plenty of other sequences that leave a mystery as to how they were achieved. While there’s no immediate announcement of a DVD or Digital to Own release for season 1, any behind-the-scenes features or reels are cherished all the more so. With Lemony Snicket’s confirmation that a second season is already in pre-production, hopes are high for bonus content to binge on.
Season 1 of A Series of Unfortunate Events is currently streaming on Netflix.
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