Colin in Black and White is a six part limited Netflix series that looks at the formative years of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. The athlete narrates the drama, recounting his early years, where he navigated race, class and culture while aspiring for greatness. The series was created by Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay and premiered on October 29th.
Josephine Noh of FuseFX in New York City served as digital effects supervisor on the show and recently took some time to discuss her work and the needs of the series.
What was your main goal when approaching this series?
“My main goal was to enhance the show’s message with seamless visual effects. There are times when VFX is the star and times when it plays the supporting role. The latter definitely applies for Colin in Black and White.”
How many shots did FuseFX contribute?
“FuseFX contributed over 400 shots to the show and also stitched 15 backgrounds for their LED wall shoots.”
Can you talk about the gallery environment that Colin is seen in throughout the series?
“The gallery ceiling was one of our main focuses. Ava favored the gabled frame, so our CG artists created the frame while our compositors integrated 2D skies and relit the gallery, which involved detailed matting. To bring it all together, we also added sky reflections on the floor.
“The other focus was the gallery window, which we chose to treat like a monitor screen. In some scenes, the window acted as the main source of light, requiring us to light Colin and the gallery for integration.”
Beyond the gallery, how else did FuseFX help to tell Kaepernick’s story?
“Sports played a huge role in Kaepernick’s story, so we created 2D crowds for some of the football scenes and CG baseballs. We also designed a football video game intro and a CG character selection sequence that involved two versions of Colin as character choices.”
Who else was part of the FuseFX team?
“I’d like to thank my wonderful, talented team at FuseFX, especially Lauren Montuori, Bruno Martins, Oliver Bleich, Geena Schwitters, and Camara Edwards. And a special thank you to our friend and VFX supervisor Greg Anderson.”