Amazon Prime Video’s superhero series “The Boys” delivered one of the most-talked about scenes this season when, in the third episode, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) drove a speedboat into Lucy the whale.
In the episode, the team is in a speed boat, being chased by The Deep (Chace Crawford). His power allows him to control sea life, and so he sends whales to chase the superheroes. Except, the force of the boat shoves her out of the ocean, pushing her onto a sandy beach, with half the boat stuck inside her middle. Characters such as Hughie (Jack Quaid) get stuck inside momentarily, covered in blood and guts, while The Deep (Chace Crawford) weeps and mourns.
“The whale sequence was constantly evolving,” VFX producer Shalena Oxley-Butler says during Variety Artisans, presented by HBO.
One thing everyone did know was that the whale set was going to be built on the beach, while everything before that would be CG in the water. There was only one blue screen shot in the whole sequence, reveals VFX supervisor Stephan Fleet: “It’s with The Deep when the whale crests out of the water and you see his body on there. We knew it couldn’t be a digi-double if he gets too close to the camera.”
To achieve the sequence where the boat goes into the whale, production built a real boat on a special slide. They also had 150 gallons of practical (fake) blood to spatter on the actors. But VFX was integral in adding water splashes and making both the inside and outside of Lucy generally look wetter and therefore more alive.
Since the action moves inside the whale, Oxley-Butler says, “We wanted to show the whale was still trying to hold on, so there are some internal organs. We enhanced some of the blood drips just to show the environment felt alive.”
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