Moonraker VFX, an award-winning visual effects studio based in Bristol, has set a studio record for the number of shots delivered in a single project to bring a ‘cosmic noir’ style to new Discovery documentary, Killers of the Cosmos. Produced by Wall to Wall Media, the six-part series stars Aidan Gillen as a gumshoe comic character, who embarks on a detective mission to uncover the evidence and threats to Earth that Space throws at us.

The team at Moonraker led the production for the 10-minute drama footage within each episode, filming Game of Thrones actor Aidan Gillen on green screen and designing a visual aesthetic that places the character in comic book style urban environments. The series, which is currently airing on Discovery Channel this month boasts over 700 shots – all of which required bespoke graphic design and animation.

Graham Stott, Creative Lead at Moonraker commented; “Ingesting that number of shots, while maintaining a beautiful and consistent look, was a gigantic challenge for the team. It’s more than you would expect in a big budget feature. We had to make sure that Aidan not only looked consistent himself, but all the environments had the same visual motifs that hung together as a gallery of work.”

The VFX studio utilised a wide range of talent and wrote its own software tools, leaning on their technical VFX, animation and illustration teams to execute this new genre defining style that effectively treats live action frame by frame.

Hannah Lewis, VFX Producer at Moonraker, commented; “It was an aesthetic approach to a project we hadn’t tried before – relying on the best creative people in Moonraker to deliver such a large volume of work where the detail of every shot is considered and consistent”.

Tim Lambert, Executive Producer at Wall to Wall Media, commented; “The team at Moonraker managed to create a fantastic but utterly believable world in which our gumshoe could operate. No one has done anything like this on a documentary series before, and we are delighted with the results.”

Tanya Combrinck
Author: Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 15 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq.