So what did you think of the visual effects in Netflix's Daredevil TV series?
What's that? You never noticed that there are effects in Daredevil? Don't feel bad. Most viewers didn't — and that's exactly the way it was meant to be.
Daredevil is the first of the Netflix/Marvel series, which are set in continuity with Marvel's big-screen movies, but tell much grittier, "street-level" stories. Daredevil had no superpowered characters (aside from DD's heightened senses) and no over-the-top setpiece spectacles. Unlike what you saw at theaters this summer, Daredevil has no cities being picked up into the air, no dinosaurs, no cars doing impossible stunts, and no Tom Cruise climbing or jumping into insane things.
Instead, Daredevil's effects don't tickle that part of your brain that knows the difference between realism and fantasy. And that's completely intentional, according to Bryan Godwin, CEO of Shade VFX. Shade is a prolific maker of realistic visual effects for a huge list of movies and television that include Chronicle, Argo, 22 Jump Street, American Horror Story and True Detective.
Shade's work on Marvel's Daredevil was subtle but crucial, and the company's deft work recently earned it an Emmy nomination.
"I think the goal of most visual effects are — or at least should be — to support the story," Godwin exclusively told Tech Times. "[You] don't pull the audience out of the experience they're having. Our favorite projects are ones where we work closely with filmmakers, directors, writers and producers to design effects that really pack a punch, without suspending the audience's disbelief of the world they're in."
Godwin is referring to a different level of visual effects, the kind that aren't there to say, Hey, look how much money we spent on this! Doesn't it look cool? The fact that you can create believable visuals of an outrageous concept doesn't mean you should simply because it looks cool.
"Visual effects have become so prolific and powerful that almost anything can be done," Godwin explained. "But it takes great concepts, storytelling and execution to put something on the screen that should be there to propel the story further and engage the audience."
This demo reel showcases Shade's work on Daredevil. Seeing what the company added to just one episode of the show may surprise you.
Turns out, this ultra-realistic and jarringly violent fight scene was lacking some key elements on set. Namely, the dangerous weaponry and bloody injuries. Apparently, this kind of thing has become much more sophisticated in recent years than most audiences probably realize.
"There isn't a film or show that doesn't use some amount of visual effects," Godwin told us. "You might be surprised at how much work can go into even a very dramatic film, such as the work we did on Selma." For that Oscar winning film, Shade VFX created and composited thousands of individuals into various scenes depicting enormous crowds.
Shade VFX will find out if its work on Daredevil is Emmy winning material when the show takes place on September 20, 2015. In the meantime, the studio is keeping busy with work on Netflix's next Marvel collaboration Jessica Jones ("It's going to be awesome!" Godwin assured us), Marco Polo's second season and next year's big-screen blockbuster Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
You can see more of Shade VFX's work at www.shadevfx.com.