Friday, October 26, 2012

Walking Dead Season 2 Finale

First off, I'd just like to point out how incredible of a show the Walking Dead is... if you haven't started watching it, you're doing yourself a disservice. It is an incredible story of survival from the viewpoints of many diverse characters. Nearly every episode someone is faced with an incredibly difficult situation or mind crippling decision. It causes you to think about life and humanity, and what those high-concepts truly mean. I just finished season 2 and the finale was nothing short of a masterpiece. It begins with everyone's life in jeopardy as a horde of Walkers (the shows pet name for zombies) breaks through the defenses of the farm which the survivors have taken refuge in. From that point; the onslaught begins. The survivors desperately hold down their position, using cars as their cavalry and the farm as their castle. During these gruesome scenes it is easy to see that After Effects was used to simulate the gunshots and the bloody display of projectile brains. Beyond the makeup and acting ability, it seemed relatively simple to replicate using the tools we've learned (i.e. motion tracking, masking, and utilizing layers). The effects were incredibly realistic and made for some really brutal and horrific shots. During the course of the episode, many beloved characters are lost, either to the zombies or separated from the group, and the feeling of desperation skyrockets for the viewer. To add to the drama, some of the characters begin to change their dispositions; from friendly, heroic and righteous to borderline evil. The show definitely makes use of filters through After Effects. In several scenes they use fire to destroy zombies, and in another they sit around a campfire and and discuss their plans. In both scenes you can tell that the actors are not actually in front of fires, but rather they are using filters in After Effects to give the viewer the impression that it is night, and they use special lighting and glow effects to enhance the illusion. In reality, fires would cause too much brightness and would ruin the shot due to the intensity of the light. The closing shot of the episode reveals a fortress in the distance, foreshadowing the plot of the next season. It too appears to have been created using After Effects by superimposing it onto the final frames of the shot; leaving us viewers with a wild cliffhanger. I am incredibly excited to begin the next season, and follow it each week. For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, the first two seasons are on Netflix and I highly recommend them to anyone who claims to be an avid fan of sci-fi, drama, action, or horror.

JP Heroux

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