VFX For TV: HBO's <I>True Detective</I>
Issue: March/April 2019

VFX For TV: HBO's True Detective

True Detective recently returned after a four-year hiatus. The HBO show is an American crime drama, created and written by Nic Pizzolatto. The series premiered in January of 2014, and each season has been structured as a different, self-contained narrative, employing new cast ensembles and following various sets of characters and settings.

FuseFX helped shoot hundreds of driving comps for the series using their proprietary FuseFX Driving Rig. The studio handled approximately 400 shots for the series and of those, more than 200 were car composites that provided extra context to a wide mix of scenes.

Lori Slomka is the show’s co-producer, working with show creator/runner Nic Pizzolatto and executive producer Scott Stephens. 
"I can tell you, working with the team at FuseFX was a great experience,” says Slomka. “The work was impeccable. The team was professional, and the talent is amazing! John Heller was always on top of things during production and is just a fun guy to hang out with. The experience was so positive for us; I’ve already hired them for my next show."
VFX shoots were supervised by FuseFX’s VFX supervisor John Heller, who worked with the production team from March 2018 to August of 2018. Visual effects work began immediately in September and was completed in February of 2019. 

“The most exciting part of this show for me is simply being involved in such an excellent property for HBO,” adds Heller. “The quality of production, story and the people involved are all top notch. True Detective’s groundbreaking Season 1 changed television as we know it. I jumped on the chance to work at the highest level and meet the quality of expectations on a premium show.”
Although the majority of their VFX work consisted of driving composites, Heller says the show allowed FuseFX to stretch their wings through the use of their FuseFX Driving Rig. 

“We shot all of the principal photography for the driving scene backgrounds using our rig on-location, both as an independent unit and alongside first and second unit during production. The FuseFX Driving Rig allowed the production team to photograph a vast amount of territory at all times of day, both in winter and summer, covering the lapse of time across the entire show, efficiently and economically. FuseFX was involved from start to finish with on-set supervision of all VFX, the driving plate photography and production of final driving composites.”
In addition to Heller, the FuseFX team included VFX producer Dara Edwards, digital supervisor Paul Santagada and CG supervisor Bud Myrick.