News 10.05.16

CUTTING EDGE WRAPS ON U.S. PERIOD TV DRAMA ‘UNDERGROUND’



Cutting Edge has wrapped on Misha Green and Joe Pokaski’s television series, Underground, now airing on WGN. As the sole VFX vendor, Cutting Edge created 1850’s Georgia; complete with steam trains, set extensions, flaming cotton fields and all of the violence of the day.

The “Big House” and the slave quarters were filmed on two locations, then edited together as neighbouring areas. On occasion, VFX would need to stitch the sites together, sometimes compositing filmed elements, and other times also using 3D models of the huts that made up the slave village, as well as trees and fences. The end result was an ideal location and an authentic step back in time.

With much of the action happening out in the cotton fields Cutting Edge was required to take a small area of cotton plant props, thicken them out and then extend them into fields. Those same fields were then turned into an inferno as part of the escape run scene, and their smoking
after-math was built in 3D.

Underground captures a time of conflict and the violence of the era featured heavily – from threats with white hot branding irons; to whip lashes dripping blood; old-fashioned shotgun flares and hangings. Every trick in the book was required, from simple wire removals to CG fluid simulations of blood, to removing makeup wounds and animating them back in to maximize the brutality.

“We’ve completed much more playful work for Sony Television with their Powers superhero series for PSN. Underground presented a different challenge entirely, where our VFX needed to be in the background, supporting the story without drawing attention,” said Cutting Edge VFX Supervisor, Rangi Sutton.

“The fact that we’re extending the cotton fields, for example, should not ever occur to the audience. With production covering off the foreground with potted plants, we had to flesh out the shot cotton elements and extend them off into distant fields – which was a real challenge for layering, lighting and matching depth-of-field.”

Check out the Underground trailer.

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Check out more of Cutting Edge’s work on their website www.cuttingedge.com.au