Plates of the riders were cleaned up, keyed and given a time echo or tracer effect to add an extra element of psychedelia. “With the CG explosion elements as the backdrop, we then added elements and a nebula background for our heroes to fly through,” explains MacLean. “This is just the beginning, though, as we fly into Wednesday’s eye which carries us on a slit scan defocused prism ride on the Bifrost to the Valhalla beach. This was all done with elements generated in Nuke by the compositor. With the nebula idea, we took extra care to make sure that every frame of this transition was interesting and fun.
“When we reach the beaches of Valhalla we are greeted by a confused Shadow Moon and smartly-dressed Bilquis,” continues MacLean. “The interactive portion of the beach was practically shot, but CG mountains based on the Giant’s Causeway, whale bones, Viking ship and the Aurora Borealis were all built in 3D and added to the sequence. For the epic and super-wide establishing shot before we enter the Hall of the Gods, we added a fully CG building exterior and our CG Ravens.”
Entering the Hall of the Gods, the viewer is taken backstage where the gods are shown in their true form. “We witness a conclave of ancient celestial beings, including Mama-Ji (Sakina Jaffrey), Anansi (Orlando Jones), Bilquis, Czernobog (Peter Stormare) and others, each fully manifested in god form,” states Tendril founder and director Chris Bahry. “It is here that Mr. Wednesday/Odin urges the old gods to take action [against the new gods] before it’s too late.”
Executive producer and episode director Christopher Byrne wanted the sequence to have an artful quality but be grounded in optical effects, like an acid trip filmed through the lens of a real camera. “Collectively, we all wanted the sequence to evoke the unsettling, hallucinogenic feel of the original material,” notes Bahry. “We needed to create a thick, almost liquid atmosphere that the various god manifestations could phase in and out of. Live-action plates of the actors for this sequence were filmed in a partial interior set that would be extended later with a CG interior.”