Season 2 Episode 6 – Keeping the actors and crew safe from contact with toxic materials and harmful fumes and smoke during explosions and fires is always our goal. Wynonna’s surprise pregnancy was born of necessity when Melanie Scrofano delivered her happy news to show runner Emily Andras*, so from the start of the season the use of non-toxic materials became a top priority. In episode 6, Whiskey Lullaby, there was one specific prop that we spent hours on – the dehydrated head of the stone witch Constance Clooty. Much care was taken to source non-toxic materials for its fabrication. We started with a plaster skull, added the face molded from paper flour and white glue then applied an acrylic paint finish and cheesecloth hair. This pic shows the detail of the piece, hauntingly creepy.
Most of our on-set time was spent creating the sleeping ghost town atmosphere. Theatrical fog machines were used strategically to create the gray stillness both inside and outside as well as the reflective haze in the night scene that starts the episode.
Our effects can also be seen when Wynonna boots down the Clockmaker’s mansion door with one well-placed kick. We had carefully set up breakaway hinges on the door and wired it so we could control the movement. It worked well when it flew apart right on cue and we got the shot in one take.
Occasionally we like to return to a previous episode to do a bit of a show and tell on an effect that for various reasons didn’t make it to screen. The original script for episode 1 ended with the widows ripping a security guard’s face off and throwing it against a wall. We cast the actor’s face, made a skin from the mold and dressed it with our special BAI slime and blood. Shooting the scene presented new challenges to exactly replicate the Director’s vision. Here’s a behind the scenesvideo of our set technician Keifer having fun testing the face splat and stick; a really good dose of gore we think. You’ll want to watch this video to the very end. It would’ve been interesting to see it incorporated into the episode.
Episode 6’s time-warp sleep-curse plot line fast-forwards Wynonna’s pregnancy by a month or so. There’s no hiding it now and for better or worse Doc and Dolls seem to have revealed their relative responses. Should be interesting to see how this all unfolds in the coming episodes.
In Wynonna Earp Season 2 Episode 5 “Let’s Pretend We’re Strangers” the Wardens dispatching of Ronnie was very well done by all involved. In keeping with our environmentally sensitive company policy we re-used and recycled too. Ronnie (Joel Cochrane) had his head cast at Bleeding Art many years ago for a theatre production. Using the original mold we cast a new head and dressed it to match present day Joel. What you didn’t see was the gout of blood that poured out of the neck through a custom designed tube and pump system. Our on-set technician Keifer Dallison worked hard to create it and made sure it functioned effectively when the cameras rolled. Click here to read Keifer’s first hand detailed account of the on-set realities of the decapitation scene: Wynonna Earp Season 2 Episode 5 SPFX Behind the Scenes on a Demon Decapitation
The bloody ratty blender scene was, for some of us, gorier to watch than the Ronnie decap. The rat was lovingly crafted by Alyssa,sculpted in oil based clay and then cast in silicone. He wasn’t sacrificed in the scene. Ratty lives happily in our shop, on display and occasionally taken out to play. He’s so life-like in his furry squidginess you can’t resist poking his tummy like Wynonna did.
But the real piece de resistance in this episode was Demon Lucado’s exploding head. Here’s a close up shot of the Lucado
dummy post explosion; the clean up on that one was epic! Again we reused a head/neck mold from a previous casting and created the exploded head which was then attached to a dummy with lifelike hands. Alyssa was the hands model, which were made of silicone with matching nail polish. She also volunteered her pinky as a model for Wynonna’s cut off finger which was not actually seen on screen.
The end of the episode cliffhanger – the positive pregnancy test – was the most surprising plot turn yet – can’t wait to see where this goes!
We will be posting some additional behind the scenes videos that we may not include within the blog every week. Watch for these on our You Tube Channel (link below) as they are posted. You can also subscribe to get all.