Based on initial designs and R&D work, Burrell had Frank Ippolito at Thingergy Inc. build the neck and the bottom of the bowl, which was worn by the on-set actor. The actor also sported a gray hood with tracking markers on it while performing in the scenes.
“We then gave that to Weta Digital and they replaced this with CG glass and the CG fish,” explains Burrell. “They would produce the dynamics, the water, the bubbles, including when AJ smokes that cigarette — when he intakes the smoke into the bubble in the water and it becomes smoke rings to get his nicotine fix.”
“Weta Digital did a phenomenal job making it happen,” adds Burrell. “The experiments and the R&D they did was just amazing. The bubbles in the water and the splashing of the bowl and all the reflections; I think it’s a phenomenal piece of work.”
For a scene in which Five smashes AJ’s head with a cricket bat, actor Aidan Gallagher first rehearsed the scene with the actor performing AJ in the plate. “Then,” says Burrell, “I pulled the AJ actor out and let Aidan really swing through it as if he was smashing the glass and going through the water and the glass. Once we got Aidan’s take done, we pulled the AJ actor back in and then he would act to the performance that he saw on the monitor. Then Weta Digital simulated that smash.”
The first season of The Umbrella Academy leveraged Weta Digital’s extensive experience with creating CG primates to help deliver Pogo, aided with an on-set actor and voice performer. This season introduces young Pogo, also a Weta Digital creation.
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