The summer issue of Cinefex is out, with no less than six articles on some of this year’s top television streaming shows. Jody, Joe and I contributed two articles each, turned around in record time when the effect on theatrical releases of a certain global pandemic forced us to ditch our planned editorial halfway through production and turn our attention from big screen to small.
The silver lining was that I got to cover two amazing shows that might otherwise have slipped through the Cinefex net. Exploring the incredible artistry behind Amazon’s Tales from the Loop, my first article features interviews with visual effects producer Andrea Knoll, visual effects supervisors Ashley Bernes and Robert Bock, and the creative teams at Legacy Effects, Rodeo FX, with extra input from MPC and Bot VFX. I also had the extraordinary good fortune to interview showrunner Nathaniel Halpern, who offered some fascinating insights into the creative challenge of adapting the paintings of artist Simon Stålenhag into an eight-part sci-fi series. I fell in love with this show as a viewer, never mind as a research journalist, so writing the article was an absolute treat from beginning to end.
If my Tales from the Loop story was a labour of love, my second Cinefex 171 assignment was a hoot. My subject matter was another Amazon show, the outrageously violent and darkly comic The Boys. After binge-watching the entire series in a couple of days, I set out to interview not only visual effects supervisor Stephan Fleet, but also as many people as possible from the vast array of visual effects companies involved. Given the tight timescale, this was a monumental task, one I managed to pull off only thanks to the extraordinary good grace of everyone who gave up their time to speak with me. The whole experience was helped enormously by the wealth of amusing anecdotes that came out of the interviews – everything from how to create an exploding dolphin to the intricate physics of airborne blood clouds. Glorious, gory stuff.
Cinefex 171 also feature Joe Fordham’s terrific coverage of DEVS and Star Trek: Picard, plus Jody Duncan’s in-depth stories on Westworld and Altered Carbon.