VFX Supervisor Ted Rae
and team are applying their artistry to a jihadist war drama.

is currently creating visual effects for season three of FX’s Middle East drama
Tyrant. VFX Supervisor Ted Rae leads
a veteran team of artists tasked with enhancing the show’s international
settings  and intensifying the combat
Created by executive producers of Homeland, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, Tyrant tells the story of the son of the ruler of a fictional
Middle Eastern country who returns home and gets caught up in a conflict with
the Army of the Caliphate. The show has drawn critical praise and a growing
legion of fans for its dramatic action, nuanced story and strong performances.
Tyrant’s success has been
phenomenal,” says Co-Producer Sean Sforza. “We’ve enjoyed network support from
FX who’ve given us the leeway to tell a different kind of story.”

FuseFX joined the show with episode five of season two,
“Viper in the Palace.” The team created effects for a number of high intensity combat
sequences, including one in which a squadron of Apache helicopters attacks
jihadists entrenched in a small desert village. FuseFX created CG helicopters,
explosions, shoulder-fired missiles, strafing bullets and other pyrotechnics.
The sequence spanned nearly 90 shots.
“The producers encouraged us to make the action as realistic
and impactful as possible, giving us a lot of freedom in designing the choreography,”
recalls Rae. “Our artists love doing bullet hits, explosions and mayhem—and they
really pushed themselves. The work became very visceral and greatly enhances
the drama.” Other key members of the team include VFX Producer Tiffany Smith, CG
Supervisor Matt Von Brock and Compositing Supervisors Andrey Drogobetski and Tommy Tran.
FuseFX’s contributions also include matte paintings and set
extensions. In one instance, matte artist Mark Sullivan added digital elements to
quadruple the apparent size of the Caliphate Army’s desert stronghold location.
“The effects were seamless,” notes Sforza. “They remolded the landscape.”
“FuseFX not only understood what we were trying to
accomplish, especially with big, pivotal scenes, they were also tuned into the
story art and were focused on details in order to make the sequence better and
help tell the story,” Sforza adds.
Rae sees bigger challenges ahead with season 3. “We expect
it to be more ambitious,” he says, adding that the VFX team will be ready. “We
are continually upgrading our CG pipeline to render faster with more detail and
more physically accurate lighting. Our goal is to deliver even more
hard-hitting action.”
About FuseFX
FuseFX is an Emmy Award-winning, full-service visual effects
studio serving the television, feature film and advertising industries from
facilities in Burbank, New York and Vancouver. Founded in 2006 by David
Altenau, the company encompasses a staff of more than 100 highly talented and
experienced artists, producers and support personnel. Using its refined, custom
database and pipeline, the company can accommodate numerous, high shot-count productions
while delivering high-quality, on-time results.
For more information, visit http://fusefx.com/
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