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 set – 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 lovingly 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 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.”
“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…
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, the 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.
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