Wynonna Earp – Season 2 Episode 2 “Shed Your Skin”
It’s always intriguing for us to see what makes it to the screen as opposed to what we actually create for the shoot during production. A huge amount of work is done that doesn’t always get in front of you the viewer in the final episode. In our blog, we pull back the curtain to show you what we did even though it may not have been in the final episode or may have been digitally altered in post production.
Building decontamination showers, formulating a special non-freezing fake blood, animating a spider-infested garbage can that could “buck off” a full grown woman (see test video here) and a realistic bleeding throat slit wound were some of the more straightforward projects in this episode.
Time and money constraints meant we were not able to build an animatronic spider but started instead with an off the shelf model that we then altered. It was dressed in a “costume” that wouldn’t weigh it down for the action scenes. A total of seven spiders were made: 4 robotic ones for the action shoot; a puppet; one that got shot; and an autopsy model.
All the spider work we did in the shop was good experience for us as there is a scene in an upcoming series we’re developing called The Séance in which spiders are featured quite prominently in one scene. For more info, you can watch the progress of this by following us on Facebook above or Twitter here.
The Jesus/construction worker spider-sucked man-husk was a multi-layered project. We started with a naked inflatable man doll; needless to say, our online research for the best possible blow-up man was interesting. He was covered with litres of liquid latex from head to toe while fully “inflated”, then he lay around the shop for several days drying – which was just a wee bit visually distracting. The inflatable doll was then removed and the latex husk was painted. Sorry, this is one project where we limited the progress pics.
Towards the end of the episode when the eerie black ghost appears, the faceless effect was created by a new process developed by our head fabricator Alyssa. A full head silicone prosthetic covering obscured the actor’s face and was made without having to do a full head cast of the actor, saving days of work. This was just one of many examples of how time constraints + available resources = a frighteningly effective creative solution.
The “egg room” was one of the more elaborate scene set-ups we had done. Making all the eggs and reverse painting them to look like they had embryos inside took several days and every available space in our shop – we were completely egg infested!
We made long lengths of umbilical cords that were spattered with UV Paint to give them an eerie black light glow, though in the end a different lighting scheme was used.
It took four special effects people several hours to set up the eggs on set and dress the room with a huge volume of goo* and hand laid spider webbing. SPFX Supervisor Leo developed a very creative web-spinning tool which was also used to make the web that Wynonna tangled with in the condo hallway.
For many practical effects, lots of testing goes on using different materials, processes, and even lighting to see how an effect might look in different environments. Here’s one of these behind the scenes tests; although it didn’t make it into the final footage, we expect it will show up in one of our other projects as it looks incredibly cool and ghostly.
Episode 2 ended with more questions than answers – but that’s what makes Wynonna the Spaciest supernatural show to watch.
*The egg goo is our own special formula of Bleeding Art Industries Slime. It’s tons of fun to play with and you can buy it here from our online store. It makes a great Halloween effect, especially when combined with our blood.
Season 2 of Wynonna Earp airs on Space and Syfy on Friday nights 10 pm ET, 7 pm PT. It is also available on iTunes.
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