CBS VFX recently completed the final 7th season of the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”.   The team was tasked with a myriad of visual effects.   Behind many of the seasons’ episodes were character flashbacks.  It was in these moments when each character is seen before life in prison and where visual effects did the heavy lifting to push the story forward. 

Orange is the New Black @ CBS VFX

In another episode, Emily Carver, who portrays a prison guard is shown serving time in Iraq.  The photography was shot in a parking lot and CBS VFX extended the practical set into vast desert landscapes.   This included creating a desert berm for the firing range as well as adding dust and squib hits when the characters platoon is ambushed by enemy soldiers.

Throughout the season various animals were needed for specific performances that could not be shot practically.  It was these moments, in the final episode of season, a CG pigeon was used throughout the season as a recurring storyline and was seen flying around the rafters of the prison in multiple episodes.  In another flashback scene, one of the female inmates was seen fishing with her father, which required a CG fish wriggling back and forth on the line.  The final episode of the series presented the biggest challenge, a CG chicken that would squat and poop out a pill bottle!  At first production attempted a practical chicken and the shot was originally intended as a split screen, but the performance of the chicken never quite worked.  Ultimately, a CG chicken was modeled, textured, and animated to bring this humorous scene to life.

In addition to environments and creatures, there were CG planes, matte paintings, driving comps, and burn-ins, which assisted the show telling their stories. The seamless effects were indistinguishable to the viewer.

CBS VFX has a 25-year reputation in visual effects but continues to innovate with the development of a proprietary virtual set platform called Parallax.   The ability to help writers and producers expand their ability to tell a story with a cost effective solutions has been an added bonus.

Netflix’s Orange is the New Black is @ CBS VFX. See a live demonstration contact us.