Sanctuary: Visual Effects Supervisor Lee Wilson

Lee Wilson (left)

Lee Wilson is the co-Executive Producer, Visual Effects Supervisor and Director for Sanctuary. Lee's career has been long and successful and included three films for David Cronenberg. Lee is also the owner of Anthem Visual Effects studio located in downtown Vancouver.

Towering at over six foot tall and the owner of a crackling yet easygoing drawl, Lee could easily pass for a jazz metal musician in a David Lynch movie. That’s a compliment by the way.

With the production in full flow further down the warehouse, the interview takes on a strange stop-start, pause-unpause flow to it, adding a certain sense of urgency and mystery.

How is your day on set going? What does it involve for you?

A day on set is a trip out of the effects studio for us. It's pretty rare; usually we're knee deep into the effects. We have roughly 4,000 visual effects throughout the whole series, approximately 300-400 in each episode and we need to be 3-4 episodes ahead because the show goes out every week. As far as the effects go, we need to propel the story rather than stop it dead. We need to stay effective throughout the show.

How do you start? With the script?

We start with an outline of the script – we then make suggestions based on the ideas presented to us. We show the actors what they are playing against. A lot of time is spent using green screen and this means we have the opportunity to change things as we go along. A creature may take a couple of months as there are 4-5 different stages. We also have to colour correct the show so it is matched for continuity.  But we have a big team and a pretty big set up – 70 people in total.

What does your future work for Sanctuary entail?

We always try to outdo ourselves from season to season. You know, if you liked the monster on season two, you're gonna love the monster on season four because it's even better. That type of thing.

If you're already a fan of the series then look out for season four which premieres on the Space channel - Friday October 7 at 10pm. You really don’t want to miss it. Season three of the show is now available on DVD.

For more, please visit the Sanctuary website.


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