Wynonna Earp Season 2 Episode 4 “She Ain’t Right” was chock full of practical special effects from dismembered and demonically bionic hands to pyro, haze & ripped off faces.
In the first scene the severed hand was a silicone prosthetic. We have extensive experience with this type of project. Casting the actor’s hand is the beginning of the process with skin colour matching and the arm hair individually punched into the silicone with a needle.
Dominique Chalkey-Provost came to our shop to have her hand and arm cast and it was one of our fabricator Alyssa’s favourite hand casts. Matching the nail polish colour was super fun for Alyssa as previously all the hand prosthetics she had made were polish free males. Dominique tweeted about her visit as she was leaving that day, though at the time she couldn’t include the reason she was there!
Jaxon’s demonic/bionic knife-hand was hands down the strangest prosthetic Alyssa had ever made in 13 years of prop making. It was sculpted from plexi-glass and apoxie and painted to look like bone. There was also a silicone demon hand and Velcro wrist attachment to complete the effect. Plexi-glass worked perfectly and was a much safer choice for action shots than metal.
Jaxon’s knife in the back through the chest apparatus was originally going to go into Jaxon’s eye but then was changed to neck and then to chest. When an actor has to perform with an appliance on, safety is the ultimate concern. Even prop knifes can do damage if they are mistreated. The risk was too great for the first two locations. Choosing the chest allowed Billy MacLellan to see with both eyes, he was able to turn his neck and have use of both of his arms making it much easier to act freely.
We also did a lot of pyro in this episode – with Wynonna’s parka bursting into flames and Jaxon’s “smoking jacket”, an after effect of being flame broiled by fire breathing lizard-man Dolls. All the gun play demanded a huge number of carefully choreographed squibs – the device used to simulate bullet hits in an action shot.
But what’s a Wynonna episode without some graphic gore? – the sisters’ ripped off faces effect started with non-molded, silicone sculpted, individual masks for Beth and Mercedes. The effect of the clear mask we used in Episode 2 was so disturbing we decided to try it again. This time we went for a look inspired by the underlying muscles of the face while adding a bit of a supernatural effect (and lots of Bleeding Art Blood Jam) to the final product. After they filmed this shot we received many compliments from the cast and crew, we were thrilled to hear that they looked “really really gross”. Yes for us this is a great compliment.
We can’t close this blog without saying how much we enjoyed working with Ken Wills and his props team to help create Doc’s DIY laboratory bubbling and steaming away in Shorty’s basement.
Oh and yes we’re all very happy that Agent Dolls has returned!
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.