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FX & MPC Collaborative Partnership



FX and MPC partner to develop visual effects for the American Horror Story Apocalypse global campaign

FX Networks, home to some of television’s most critically-acclaimed dramas and comedies, is also a hub for creative innovation and excellence in multi-platform content and advertising. MPC’s VFX team has been the “go to” team of choice for FX’s highest profile premium campaigns. 

Robert Owens, Managing Director of MPC LA, has a long-standing and prolific relationship with FX Networks. His partnership with their Creative and Advertising teams has been going strong for more than 12 years.  “Our relationship with them is one-of-a-kind.  We work as one creative team helping them make their unique and imaginative concepts a reality.  Each campaign is like a small movie. The team works collaboratively to find the most original approach to each idea.”

“Robert and MPC are exquisite,” said Stephanie Gibbons, President Marketing, Creative, and Digital Media for FX Networks.  “They are with us every step of the way from shoot through finish.  We are tied at the hip and rely on their visionary VFX expertise   to elevate every concept.”

The collaborative relationship with MPC began with the season 2 Atlanta campaign “Spotlight” teasers and continued through campaigns for Snowfall and Legion.  MPC Creative Director Rob Hodgson lead the visual effects team for all three projects. Hodgson describes the relationship as “unique.”  “I think we work so great together because FX understands the entire process and are always open to our suggestions and creative input. We get involved at the early stages and help determine what can be achieved and then bring that vision to life.”

The most recent collaboration between MPC and FX Networks in on the broadcast and social campaign for the latest season of the wildly popular anthology series American Horror Story: Apocalypse. MPC handled the VFX for nine abstract teasers set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic world.  Each teaser was a unique standalone filmic piece. The MPC team made the supernatural sequences look as photo-real as possible — with many of the teasers requiring complex visual effects and creative problem solving along the way.  Paul Tolton teamed with FX to direct the pieces. 

One of the most challenging teasers, in terms of effects, was “Fall Out,” which shows a woman’s hair being brushed with a demonic comb as large clumps of hair fall out. 

 

What isn’t clear to the viewer, is that all of the hair was built in CG to control the fall out. Morten Vinther, Creative Director at MPC’s LA studio, described the process: “The whole campaign, especially “Fall Out”, really allowed us to flex our creative muscles. We created a full head of hair in CG, which allowed us to play around with different ways as to how the hair fell out from the head as it was being combed. We explored many different approaches, taking the lighting and shadows into consideration to make it look as realistic and disturbing as possible.”

Another teaser, “Hush,” was also a complex execution, featuring a baby covered in a red substance who is given a pacifier by a devil-like hand. This required using both an animatronics baby as well as an actual baby. The animatronics baby with a wet glossy look was used on set, but it had a limited a range of emotions and so a real baby was filmed for additional facial references. Combining both allowed the team to add realistic emotions to the CG baby, which required extensive match move but ultimately gave the performance needed.

Vinther commented: “The team at FX Networks trusts and values our input, and they see us as part of the creative process. We advise on what is possible, and we work closely all the way through until the final look for each teaser is achieved. At times we are even adjusting concepts along the way to ensure the best possible result.”

But it’s not just visual effects that MPC has brought to the table – MPC LA’s Senior Colorist Ricky Gausis has graded both seasons of the multi award-winning series Atlanta, with Gausis having a deep creative partnership with the director of the show, Hiro Murai. FX Networks also worked with MPC’s Immersive team for an exhibition for Legion at Comic Con in 2017 called “Sessions”. Fans of the show had the opportunity to tap into the mind of main character David Haller, mixing reality by using interactive objects and animation with live actors and physical environments.

Owens sums up the relationship between MPC and FX Networks: “We have a great working and creative partnership with the team at FX, and the key factor is trust: the teams both at FX and MPC trust and value each other’s creative opinions, making stunning breakthrough promos for truly exceptional TV shows.”

Fall Out

Hush

Shockwave

Mind Blowing

Hush Breakdown

Gallery

Credits

Client

FX

Director

Paul Tolton

Production Company

Firefly Creative

FX

Creative Director/President, Multi-Platform Marketing, FX Networks

Stephanie Gibbons

Creative Director/EVP, Multi-Platform Marketing, FX Networks

John Varvi

SVP, Content & Editorial

Carol Weiler

SVP, Special Projects & Production

Kenna McCabe

VP, Special Projects & Production

Elizabeth Knight, Julie Graham

Director, Post Production

Bryce Olson

Firefly Creative

Creative Producer

John Winter

Editoral

MOCEAN and Philippe Bergerioux

MPC

Hand to Mouth

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisors

Gustavo Bellon

VFX Supervisor

Oliver Caiden

CG Supervisor

Ryan McDougal

Modelers

Rodrigo Carrasco, Lim Bunu

Animator

Dan Wawrzaszek

FX

Josh Hatton

Rigger

Meghan Sesnie

Lighter

Matthew Maude

Matchmove

Elangovan Ganeshan

Roto

Sriram Parameshwaran, Rajeshkumar Panjalingam

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Line Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham

Shockwave

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisor

Gustavo Bellon

VFX Supervisor

Gustavo Bellon

CG Supervisor

Ryan McDougal

FX

Kevin Gillen

Lighter

Brendon Echsner

Modeler

Lim Bunu

Roto

Shagandeep Kaur

DMP

Radhakrishna Rethinasamy, Srinivas Achary

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Line Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham

Radioactive Mist

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisor

Gustavo Bellon

Roto

Rajesh Kumar

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Line Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham

Don't Give a Fig

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisors

Gustavo Bellon, Morten Vinther, Toya Drechsler

VFX Supervisor

Gustavo Bellon

2D Compositor

Sandra Ross

Roto

Jon Rogala, Peter Ulukpo, Ravisankar S, Jegadeesan Velautham, Subbaiyan Ramalingam, Sudev Erattengal

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Line Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham

Hand Out

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisors

Gustavo Bellon, Toya Drechsler

Lead Compositor

Sandra Ross

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Exhale

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisors

Gustavo Bellon, Morten Vinther

VFX Supervisors

Morten Vinther, Rodrigo Jimenez

CG Supervisor

Ryan McDougal

Animator

Andrew Price

FX

Jinguang Huang, Andy Sheng

Lighter

Brendon Echsner, Matthew Maude

Modeler

Rodrigo Carrasco, Lim Bunu

Rigger

Meghan Sesnie

Roto

Shagandeep Kaur, Rajesh Kumar

Matchmove

Sreenivasa Aditya Yanamalachintala, Konduru Achi Raju, Ajith PA

DMP

Srinivas Achary, Radhakrishna Rethinasamy

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Line Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham

Fall Out

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisor

Morten Vinther

VFX Supervisor

Rodrigo Jimenez

CG Supervisor

Ryan McDougal

Compositor

Sandra Ross

Roto

Shagandeep Kaur, Rajesh Kumar

Clean Up

Joshua Pena, Peter Ulukpo, Jon Rogala

Matchmove

Sreenivasa Aditya Yanamalachintala, Ankit Dheraj Toppo

Groom

Francisco Fraga

FX

Andy Sheng

Lighter

Rune Mansson, Brendon Echsner

Modeler

Lim Bunu

DMP

Srinivas Achary

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Line Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham

Hush

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisors

Gustavo Bellon, Morten Vinther, Toya Drechsler

VFX Supervisor

Oliver Caiden

CG Supervisor

Ryan McDougal

Animator

Dan Wawrzaszek

FX

Jinguang Huang

Lighter

Matthew Maude

Modelers

Rodrigo Carrasco, Joel Durham, Lim Bunu

Rigger

Meghan Sesnie

Roto

Rajesh Kumar, Shagandeep Kaur

Matchmove

Elangovan Ganeshan, Ankit Dheraj Toppo, Siva Priyan

DMP

Srinivas Achary

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Line Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham

Mind Blowing

Creative Director

Morten Vinther

VFX Set Supervisors

Gustavo Bellon, Morten Vinther

VFX Supervisor

Rodrigo Jimenez

CG Supervisor

Josh Hatton

FX

Josh Hatton, Andy Sheng

Lighter

Brendon Echsner

Matchmove

Konduru Achi Raju

Executive Producer

Karen Anderson

Producer

Nicole Saccardi

Coordinator

Stefani Na

Line Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham