Like most of the rest of Wynonna Earp Season 2, the finale episode was a master class in supernatural drama storytelling. This show took an unexpected, real-life “complication” — the pregnancy of its lead actress — and built its season around it. The bravery, heart, and feminist subversiveness of this show has been written about a lot, especially post-pregnancy reveal, but it bears repeating: Wynonna Earp isn’t just one of the most fun shows on TV; it’s one of the best, full stop. – Katyl Burt, Den of Geek

The final episode of Season 2, “I Hope You Dance”, stretched our ingenuity for character design. We had high hopes that the beginning of Bulshar’s reveal was going to be suitably hideous and we weren’t disappointed.  Our head fabricator Alyssa Moor tells the story of its creation and the shoot that proved an interesting challenge:

Whatever it takes to get the shot…

“The first reveal of Bulshar’s pale hand reaching up through the rocks looked great. But did you wonder where the rest of the actor was?  He was lying underneath the WynonnaEarp_gallery_212Recap_03set – and I don’t mean on the floor of the set – I literally mean underneath the set that was built for the mine. The director was communicating to the actor using a walkie talkie to speak to a member of the crew who was positioned outside the mine closer to the actor. The crew member then relayed the director’s tips on how to move and when to break through the rocks. Everything seems so simple until you realize you need to get six people and two cameras into a 6 foot square space!”

“Bulshar’s hand saw a lot of action this episode. It broke through the rock, was Bulshar's hand sculptlovingly caressed, chopped off, robbed and finally discarded on the floor of the mine. I sculpted, cast and painted this hand 5 times. There was a costume handBulshar's suitably cobwebbed hand that the actor could wear, two breakaway hand/arms, a pre-chopped hand/arm and a post-chop hand. All of them had to be covered in cobwebs, dirt and slime for every take.”

“Of course we can’t leave out the rest of the costume that was attached to that hand: a full silicone suit that fit the actor like a wiggly glove. He had to be fit into a zentai suit first then slid into his silicone suit through a hole in the side of the costume.”

Joanne Jacobsen at work on Bulshar
Joanne Jacobsen and Jason Huras

“It was quite an ordeal to get him in there and then guide him to Makeup Department Head Joanne Jacobsen to glue down the costume around his eyes and make up the small amount of skin that was left showing. Then off to special effects to get covered in cobwebs, dirt and slime.  As you may imagine it was not very comfortable and it was quite warm in the suit so we tried to keep his laps of the set to a minimum. Luckily he got to lie down in a nice padded coffin for his shots. This character was created in a week and a half in our shop, with a final test in our Bleeding Art boardroom of the actor in costume escaping the coffin. Not just another day at the office.”

Who knows what Season 3 will bring and what evil shall develop from this larval form of Sheriff Clootie…

Bulshar (Jason) and Alyssa on set
Jason and Alyssa on set


For all of our Calgary fans: If you want to get up close to Bulshar’s costume and other Wynonna goodies, they will be on display at our Bleeding Art Beakerhead event on Friday, September 15.  Tickets are going fast so click here now to book.

Special effects for this episode also included creating the ghostly fog in the mine, the mine cave-in with hand-crafted light weight rocks, Bulshar’s arm chop, theBobo and Doc almost face to face knife in Doc’s hand, Bobo’s torso stakes and more. And baby Alice – when not seen live and close up – was in fact one of our two very realistic silicone babies.

Though this is our last blog for Season 2 we will reveal more next week revisiting this episode and some of the other practical SPFX this season that we didn’t have time or space to cover in our episode blogs. The mine cave-in is an effect that took skill and timing to create – we’ll tell you more next time.

Wynonna Earp is just one of many projects we work on throughout the year. Follow our blog and social media sites if you want to keep tabs on other cool things we do. Thanks for your support and all the retweets, likes and comments throughout our Wynonna Earp Season 2 blog posts!

If you have a questions or would just like to know more about the special effects you’ve seen this season let us know in the comments section below.

At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out our work @ www.bleedingartindustries.com, our Twisted Tales universe @ www.twistedstories.com, and our products @ www.shopbleedingart.com.

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Bobo is Back & the Big Burn

Wynonna Earp S2 Episode 8 No Future in the Past – Wynonna’s time travel vision quest has finally revealed the nature of the special connection between Bobo and Waverly – as show runner Emily Andras says in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

Emily Andras 2
Emily Andras

“We always knew that Waverly and Bobo have a special connection, that he was fascinated with her in a way that didn’t exactly scream “healthy admiration.” But now we see that in the past, Bobo has been Waverly’s protector. We really leaned into this story line when we saw the incredible chemistry between Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Michael Eklund.” 

M Eklund 2
Michael Eklund

We’re all happy to see Bobo/Michael Eklund back, resurrected during Wynonna’s momentary mini-death. Being “special”, Bobo is the only revenant who could be reborn and as Emily says:  “Bobo is an enigma. He was as much an innocent victim of the curse as the Earps — but when he returned to Earth in demon form, he was one of the most vicious, conniving revenants. He can do whatever he wants… and I can’t wait to see what that is.”  Neither can we…

But time traveling vision quests aside, for us this week’s episode was all about the church burn.  This church does actually exist on the outdoor western town set at CL Ranch nearCL Ranch pic 2 Calgary. It was built for the series Lonesome Dove and has been used in productions like Unforgiven, Legends of the Fall, Hell on Wheels, Heartland and Shanghai Noon.  Each production dresses the town set to suit their art direction and other unique production needs.

Of course we couldn’t burn the actual church because of time and budget constraints so Leo proposed to director Paolo Barzman silhouetting fire against a full scale purpose-built  slat frame replica. Careful preparation and timing on a full building burn is crucial. And when it comes off as perfectly as this did our 021pyro-maniacal SPFX crew is very happy.  On this occasion the Alberta weather was dubious about cooperating and as the days advanced we were not sure if we would be in a dry grass field or under 10 feet of snow so the burn had to be carefully controlled for both safety and environmental reasons. It’s set up like a giant barbeque with propane jets placed in strategic locations in and around the building with the ability to turn off at a moments notice. Being lit for over 8 minutes of shooting we used up near 1000 lbs of propane gas at a very high flow rate. Being a night burn the effect is almost over-whelming. Still once the flames start you have no choice but to run with it and there is only one chance to get it right.   In a very lucky turn of events the fire truck was perfectly situated to reflect all those lovely flames and enhance the effect. Heartlandfire

Leo, Wynonna’s SPFX supervisor and BAI founder is an expert at burns. This is one of our favourite pics of him  – on the job during another burn on CBC’s Heartland. You never have complete control over a fire that big, so many safety precautions are taken to ensure there is no risk to the workers on set.  In this photo Leo is testing the air stream created so that stunt performers can pass easily up the stairs all the while looking like they are in maximum danger.

Baby P 1The party prop Alyssa worked hard to create was the comically cute baby piñata for Wynonna’s baby shower.  We found out quickly that peach is out as a party theme colour so peach coloured tissue paper no longer exists anywhere in North America! Ours was tinted, cut and fringed in our shop.  Gluing tiny rows of tissue by hand is a supremely finicky process, Alyssa’s patience was put to the test on this project.  These days Baby Pinata watches us work in the “fishbowl” our busy admin office. IMG_4242

And it’s not a Bleeding Art blog without a bit of gore – here’s a behind the scenes shot of Shaun Johnston/Juan Carlos and talented SPFX tech Megz Reynolds at the lunch buffet.

Season 2 of Wynonna Earp airs on Space and Syfy on Friday nights 10 pm ET, 8 pm MT. It is also available on iTunes.At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out our work @ www.bleedingartindustries.com, our Twisted Tales universe @ www.twistedstories.com, and our products @ www.shopbleedingart.com.

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