Goodbye Kansas Studios delivered 229 shots and 20 assets for Netflix’s recent crime drama series, The Irregulars. Based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the show features the Baker Street Irregulars – a group of youths working for Dr. Watson saving London from supernatural elements. Goodbye Kansas’ London and Stockholm offices served as the primary visual effects vendor across all eight episodes. The team was led by GBK VFX Supervisors Joel Lindman (Stockholm), and Jim Parsons (London) in collaboration with Overall VFX Supervisor, Richard Briscoe.
Goodbye Kansas Stockholm focused on the creation of a large flock of around 100 birds that were being supernaturally controlled by the first episode’s antagonist. Not only did the team need to design and create the birds themselves, but they also needed to iterate a multitude of animations for them, place each bird at precise locations within each frame, as well as have the birds perform specific tasks and actions in those moments.
To create these flocks, the FX and animation teams worked in tandem to design a selection of seven types of birds and provide these creations with individual animation cycles for different speeds and angles of attack. In order to sell the animation, and the story, to the viewing audience, the FX team also put in a high level of previz and blocking work. From there they added flocking behaviours to those points to give the various birds unique and dynamic movements.
Goodbye Kansas London was tasked with touching up various visual elements, including the prominent tattoos the characters are branded with. The art department researched historically accurate tattoos from the period in order to come up with a number of designs that fit the brief and the production eventually selected the tattoo that appears in the series. Goodbye Kansas was then able to add the newly selected designs.
Finally, both the London and Stockholm offices worked together to deliver effects for a supernatural liquid that has healing properties and was used by a character to put bodies back together. While there was a replacement substance used during filming, the effect of it being applied and absorbed into the skin was always meant to be done in post-production. The London team helped clean up the skin for the effect and the Stockholm team handled the look and feel of the liquid. Both teams worked closely to ensure that their work didn’t appear too supernatural, as per the brief from the director.
Above is a breakdown of some of the VFX we did and below a VFX Breakdown reel of how we created some of the bird shots.
Learn more about the VFX Goodbye Kansas created for the series in ep #53 of our podcast Yellow Brick Road.
Production Company: Drama Republic
VFX Supervisors: Joel Lindman (Stockholm) and Jim Parsons (London)
Release Date: March 2021