FXAmerican Horror Story: Apocalypse

FX and MPC partner up on American Horror Story: Apocalypse promos

FX Networks is home to some of television’s most critically-acclaimed dramas and comedies, and MPC’s VFX team has been the “go to” team of choice for FX’s highest profile premium campaigns.

They teamed up once again on the promo campaign for the eighth season of the wildly popular anthology series American Horror Story: Apocalypse. MPC handled the VFX for nine abstract teasers set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic world, all of which were directed by Paul Tolton.  Each teaser was a unique standalone filmic piece. The MPC team made the supernatural sequences look as photo-real as possible.

One of the most challenging teasers, in terms of VFX, was “Fall Out,” which shows a woman’s hair being brushed with a demonic comb as large clumps of hair fall out.

Fall Out

What isn’t clear to the viewer, is that all of the hair was built in CG to control the fall out. Morten Vinther, Creative Director at MPC’s LA studio, described the process:

“The whole campaign, especially “Fall Out”, really allowed us to flex our creative muscles. We created a full head of hair in CG, which allowed us to play around with different ways as to how the hair fell out from the head as it was being combed. We explored many different approaches, taking the lighting and shadows into consideration to make it look as realistic and disturbing as possible.”

Another teaser, “Hush,” was also a complex execution, featuring a baby covered in a red substance who is given a pacifier by a devil-like hand. This required using both an animatronics baby as well as an actual baby. The animatronics baby with a wet glossy look was used on set, but it had a limited a range of emotions and so a real baby was filmed for additional facial references. Combining both allowed the team to add realistic emotions to the CG baby, which required extensive match move but ultimately gave the performance needed.

Vinther commented: “The team at FX Networks trusts and values our input, and they see us as part of the creative process. We advise on what is possible, and we work closely all the way through until the final look for each teaser is achieved. At times we are even adjusting concepts along the way to ensure the best possible result.”

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