Season 1 Episode 11 Wynonna Earp aired Sat night on Space. Go behind the scenes with us and find out how it was done –
Here we meet the vampire twins, witness the big assault and shoot out at the Earp homestead, and watch as Bobo does his worst to one of the bad guys. This is Part One of our discussion of the pyrotechnics used in the show with more cool stuff to come in a later Bleeding Art Industries behind the scenes blog.
As with everything we do, we test and test and test, making sure we know ALL the parameters of how the pyro effect will work in different environments, with careful attention to safety distances and precise checking of pyrotechnic loads. We ensure that weighting for objects is correct (if they have to fly) and that the object won’t come apart from the pressures of detonation or deflagration depending on the type of explosive device used. This was especially important on the numerous takes during which the characters were doing target practice. Check out our Youtube video for a compilation of pyrotechnic tests. Click here for the shooting gallery test. Click here for the smoke bomb test.
It’s important to note that every member of the pyro team carries the top level Fireworks Operator Certificate issued by the Explosives Regulatory Division in Canada, we are using products that are industry standard and detailed on the Canadian List of Authorized Explosives, and all the necessary pyrotechnic permits and insurance documents are in place before the work happens.
As we spoke about in our last blog, fog atmosphere played a big role in creating the dramatic look of the scenes. We are particularly proud of the eerily beautiful image achieved in the locomotive shop where the vampire twins meet their demise; the light through the window with the hazed atmosphere is a truly stunning effect.
Fog effects are great, but pyrotechnics are always the most exciting and fun part of the job. The big shoot out with many beats of action leading up to a culmination where Willa is saved by Bobo was choreographed very carefully and broken into steps as seen in the second pyrotechnic video. Attached are some pictures and maps of the work.
From spark hits to feather bombs to fruit hits and breakaway glass and casseroles, working with director Peter Stebbings was a great pleasure and more than 98 percent of the mechanical special effects shot made it to screen.
The Bobo crush head was a lot of fun too. The core was a thin urethane plastic under a pre-scored silicone head. Filled with custom shaped red jello and blood, we achieved a squishy beating that a bad guy would never forget. Click here for the head crush test video
We’re now only two episodes away from the finale. See you next week for the behind the scenes on the special effects and prosthetics for Wynonna Earp.
Wynonna Earp airs on Space Saturday nights after Dr. Who. It is also available on iTunes.