VFX For TV: 'In An Instant'
Issue: April 1, 2015

VFX For TV: 'In An Instant'

For its newest television series, In An Instant, a two-hour, docudrama that premiered on ABC in March, Committee Films takes on stories about the profound will to survive when people are staring death in the face. Committee called on long-time post production partner Splice (www.splice.tv) in Minneapolis to collaborate on the series, which aired Saturdays on the ABC Television Network. 

In An Instant more than just re-tells heart pounding, first-person accounts of survival, it brings them to life with strong dramatizations of the moment before and after the subject’s life was forever changed. Splice handled a range of post production services for the program. 

In An Instant is created, produced and edited by Committee, but Splice provides visual effects services, as well as sound design, mixing, color grading, editorial finishing and mastering. They also designed the program’s open and on-screen graphics. Committee handled creative editorial on all episodes except for “Grizzly Attack,” which was edited by Splice’s Chadwick Nelson.

“Committee Film has been a great partner for six years now, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them onIn An Instant,” says Splice partner Barb Condit. “As always, we’ve refined our creative process to realize their vision, and In An Instant gives us a chance to try a few new things. We see this as a groundbreaking project that will allow us to grow, particularly in the VFX area.”

More than 20 members of the Splice team contributed to the series, including artists, project managers and technicians. By the time the last episode of In An Instant aired in March, Splice will have worked on the series for more than seven months. 

The show’s visual effects include reenactments of close calls, including a plane crash and a bear attack. Splice uses Autodesk Mudbox for sculpting and Maya for CG. The Foundry’s Nuke is used for compositing and Side Effects Houdini helps with creating simulations. For tracking, the studio uses Pixel Farm’s PFtrack and  
Andersson Technologies’ Syntheyes. PipelineFX’s Qube is employed for render farm management. The studio has a 240-core render farm.

For graphics, Splice relies on Adobe After Effects, Video Copilot’s Element 3D V.2, GenArts Sapphire for AE and Maxon’s Cinema 4D.