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February 06 2010

The demo reel for Lion Visual Effects. They did the special effects for Dollhouse season 2.

I would've laughed so hard if their Gossip Girl/CSI Miami clips were them just animating the actors to emote.

Their work on Dollhouse was really brill, especially in The Attic. The extension of Clyde's nightmare street and the Japanese businessman's severed legs were well done.
I thought Matt's explosion and the Rossum explosion were... well, not very well done. But "The Attic" was visually stunning for sure.
I think it was, all of it, on-par or above the TV-average. I consider Lost to probably have some of the worst CGI on the tellybox, so anything better than that is fantastic in my books. Caprica (is that done by the fantastic Zoic?) probably is the best. Their leg-work (hah) seems to be pretty sublime.
Aye, new behind the scenes Dollhouse material. It's all good. I wonder if the footage will be on the season 2 DVD.
Since I watch none of the other shows, those effects out of context sure seem strange, what with all the disappearing people and all that.
What is that exploding man in a chair from?
What episode was that disappearing from the chair Echo in? The Attic? In the context of the video, it seems silly to have a cgi actress sitting in a chair. Edit: Okay, now I see the jar of floating brain (or is that a cow fetus?) and Dominic there. I just don't remember Echo's vanishing act there.

[ edited by CaptainB on 2010-02-06 18:30 ]
CaptainB, the exploding man in a chair was Matt in "A Love Supreme", and Echo's vanishing act was how she figured out she can move from nightmare to nightmare inside the Attic (by confronting the fear of that head-space).
Wow, was I not paying attention. I've understood the Attic thing, just didn't catch that quick frame of her vanishing. I only half paid attention to A Love Supreme while airing and never bothered to watch it again. I'll look out for more exploding and vanishing people on the DVDs.
I was impressed by Lion's CGI of holograms within the dollhouses. Since Zoic's bit in "Ariel" (where Simon is examining and spinning/manipulating a scan of River's brain), for some reason I've loved seeing ghostly-rendered images of it on TV.

Thought Matt-exploding was pretty well-done (not usually a fan of gore, but did anyone else pause and slow-mo that scene to see what they could see ? Not much, but there were a few unrecognizable bits, as Lion demonstrated in this demo reel).

Think the problem with the Rossum explosion was maybe Echo's integration into it. She didn't feel like part of the same scene, IMO.

Topher's act in "Epitaph 2" was good. Almost too pretty, but hey, the potential saving of humanity would be a beautiful thing (even if not for every restored person, even with all the reconstruction ahead of 'em), so why not drive that home through the effects. It was very Disney-magical-looking though.
I thought it was amusing that for a reel with the series Dollhouse featured in it, most people would probably imagine that to be maybe the first parts where there was that woman falling apart (what was that from?) or that one amputated leg.

Just for my own sake though, I wish they'd actually labeled the shows their work was for. (what was the Gossip Girl stuff?) I'm generally a fan of that whole seamless transition from indoor to outdoor thing but I would have been curious/a little bored to discover some show used that for every single transition.

As for Dollhouse, I generally dug their work-- especially that high techy fake glass panel monitor stuff since I could just buy that being something that a Hollywood production could really afford having on set. (Even if it's as reputedly low budget as Dollhouse.) As nice a touch that set extension work was for Epitaph era Attic, I was surprised how much actual stuff they had going on in that shot that was practical. And I missed the flashy seat absorbtion thingie the first go around of that episode.

Their explosion stuff seemed a little wonkier but maybe that was since that whole Echo explosion thing was a little weird in context (she's not a superhero so it's fuzzy how/why she can effectively avoid it and there's no sign of the building being damaged outside...), and actually I still think Matt blowing up is sort of shocking/impressive in it's gumption on TV.

Considering how much Whedon digs recycling cast/crew though, I wonder why this show ended up with Dollhouse? Did they specialize in doing something particular that made them the/one of the companies for the series?
That first part with the woman falling apart like a mannequin, was that Amy Adams ? (from Enchanted, Julie and Julia, Junebug, and Tara's Cousin Beth from "Family")
Amazing! Goes to show how little we see on the screen and all the effort people put in for a flash of cool. This isn't your father's Buffybot...
Didn't Zoic do Season 1 of DH? I'm curious why Joss & Co. switched to Lion, when Zoic has been their go-to FX house for so many productions.

Also, Exploding Matt is pretty graphic stuff for primetime network TV. Guess they figured nobody would see it on a Friday night, so what the hey... ;-)
I'm curious why Joss & Co. switched to Lion, when Zoic has been their go-to FX house for so many productions.


Cost I would imagine. The show did get its budget reduced for season 2.
They did great up until the horrible explosion in The Hollow Men.

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