Based on Luke Jennings’ Codename Villanelle novella series, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s adaptation of Killing Eve follows a desk-bound MI5 officer, Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), as she tries to track down a young, beautiful and psychopathic assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer).
The eight-part drama series is a scintillating, comedic and action-packed thriller that, since airing on BBC1, has received a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Rolling Stone magazine described Killing Eve as “hilarious, bloody, unclassifiable and idiosyncratic” and a “stylish story of obsession and psychopathy that’s alarmingly warm and lived in.”
Weekly ratings statistics highlight this show as one of the most popular shows to air in a decade.
What The Flying Colour Company was asked to do
After providing on-set supervision for the production team in London, Bedfordshire and other various parts of the UK, The Flying Colour Company (TFCC) was asked to complete all of the visual effects shots for the series.
This comprised a total of 179 shots, including effects for injury enhancement, knife enhancement and muzzle flashes for fight scenes. TFCC also worked on a number of green screen replacement elements including compositing an environment for 17 shots of a total blue screen sequence.
The TFCC visual effects work also included scene and location enhancements and extensions, from iconic landmark buildings to exterior street shots, as well as smashing and shattering glass.
In addition, the team built and composited concrete watch towers for a prison, augmented a hillside villa, rebranded shops and signs and completed various other clean-up shots throughout the series.
How we did it
TFCC worked very closely with the production team to establish the look for key sequences.
“One of our favourite shots,” explained founder and managing director Simon Wilkinson, “was a shot looking out of an apartment window at a beautiful Parisian landscape. The camera tracks back through the landscape and through the window into the living room. We worked hard with production replacing a huge green screen for a Parisian rooftop view, adding movement to the scene.”
To make the scene work, the TFCC team composited various elements into it, including extras who moved in front of the screen and were then individually placed on the balconies and around the apartment buildings. The team also added birds flying past the building.
“One of our biggest challenges was replacing a blue screen for an exterior park sequence,” continued Wilkinson.
“This comprised 17 shots, all filmed at different angles against blue screen. Our challenge was to build a photorealistic background and foreground and then track, light and composite the background and foreground, embedding the characters convincingly.”
Another challenge was adding prison towers to the exterior prison courtyard. For this, the TFCC team created a 3D model that was textured with photographic elements and tracked it into place. The tower asset was then embedded into different shots at different distances and angles. To finish it off, the artists then made sure that the lighting and parallax were correct.