I was the overall VFX Supervisor during the pre-production and the production process, and the on-set VFX Supervisor for the entire first season of Outer Range, starring Josh Brolin. We spent half a year in pre-production and eight and a half months in a covid bubble isolation in New Mexico, where I worked on designing, blue printing and inventing all the VFX effects for the show in collaboration with the vendors I picked to do the demanding visual effects work on this one.
My background with creature work helped with the creature work on-set filming process, and the show ended up having some really great shots but due to many converging factors in production it flew mostly under the radar.
This was definitely one of the biggest ones I’ve ever done – unexpectedly so due to the pandemic situation. Due to the long shoot time, show’s VFX look development and most of the main VFX work was almost entirely completed by the time we finished filming – sans a few last-minute additions mostly filmed in camera with SFX, which was surely a first.
Originally we were gonna film in Alberta, Canada for three months or so, with the mountains there serving as an ideal backdrop to the Grand Tetons look sought after by the showrunners. But – we ended up filming in New Mexico, in areas around Albuquerque and Las Vegas (the New Mexico one).
The VFX workflow therefore was a bit different than usual do, what I referred to as run’n’gun style. We were doing the visual effects while we were shooting for the most part. Once 80% of the work was already done and the shoot finally came to an end – a year and a half long engagement and distance from my loved ones took an incredible toll on the entire crew, myself included. So, after the on-set part of the show was done, my engagement with Amazon Studios ended in August 2021. I was more then thrilled to head back home to Amsterdam to my family that I have been seeing only through video conferencing due to the bubble. Both my kids were a few inches taller, and it was a real reminder of the toll Covid Pandemic took on all of us.
However the fantastic crew made it much easier to cope with, especially the on-set team under my supervision that worked long days in the strangest conditions of our lives. I can only thank our VFX producer Alejandro Diego von Dorrer, VFX data wrangler Chris Moore, VFX coordinator Shawn Wayman and VFX editor Sam Rosenberg for their fantastic contribution to otherwise a very complex project. The post houses did a tremendous job, led by Amazon’s post team in New York.
At the height of the pandemic, in a bubble out in New Mexico, our fantastic cast and crew crafted a truly magical journey. Proud to have been the on-set VFX Supervisor on such a great show, and forever in awe of the talent performances and the magnificent work the entire crew, post team and countless hand-picked vendors around the world delivered. All the previews, all the crazy hours, all the stunts, in-camera resolves and post trickery we came up with were well worth those long months in the high desert. One for the ages.Aleksandar Sasha Djordjevic
Check out the trailer, first episode airs on April 15th!