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Entity FX Enlivens ‘Breaking Bad’

The Entity FX visual effects team is responsible for putting many of the characters in the AMC series Breaking Bad into precarious situations. Entity FX provided visual effects for several recent episodes, including “I See You” (May 9), “Kafkaesque” (May 16) and “Fly” (May 23).

In “I See You,” artists digitally removed the legs of a professional assassin whose hit had gone wrong and helped him hop out of a hospital bed full of wires and monitors and drag himself across the floor.

Inside Breaking Bad 310 “The Fly”
Trouble seeing the video above? Click here.

In the “Fly” episode, Entity FX was responsible for creating and animating a principal character of the piece: a common housefly that has gotten into the lab and threatens to contaminate Walt’s batch of product. Entity FX created a CG insect that was capable of playing any role, from a barely visible dot to a frame-filling monster.

Complex rig removal and digital stunt treatment by Entity FX artists increased the jeopardy experienced by Walt and his protégé, Jesse (Aaron Paul), in other sequences.

“The fly was great fun because it was a performance piece that had to play against the actors,” says Mat Beck, senior visual effects supervisor, Entity FX. It was driven, through description, by [director] Rian Thompson and [show creator] Vince Gilligan, and when cameras were rolling, by Bryan and Aaron, who were terrific at creating something in space that wasn’t there. Vince was adamant that the fly be ‘just a fly,’ not extraordinary in any way, except in avoiding the characters’ frantic efforts to catch it. The challenge was to give it impact and make it and believable at the same time.”

Inside Breaking Bad 308 “I See You”
Trouble seeing the video above? Click here.

About Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad spectacularly breaks the mold of suburban tranquility as it follows straight-laced high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston, who has won two Emmy Awards for the role) into the moral and legal twilight of the drug sub-culture. Driven to desperation by a diagnosis of stage III cancer and by his worries about the financial security of his family, Walt applies his scientific training and discipline toward producing the best crystal meth that anyone in Albuquerque has ever seen—thereby unleashing a tsunami of consequences on himself and those around him. The show’s third season, which began in March, explores Walt’s further struggles as he desperately maneuvers to avoid loss of his loved ones, his freedom or his life.