UPDATED with video: “[Crowd work] has sort of been a staple thing in VFX for a long time, but I think one of the things that made our show sort of different was the volume and quantity of shots that needed to be done,” said Ted Lasso VFX compositing supervisor Bill Parker at Apple TV+ and Deadline’s Visual Effects + Screen award-season event.
Parker is nominated in the Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Single Episode category for the 11th episode of the season, titled “Mom City.” The episode is a prime example of Parker’s work on the series, which is focused mainly on creating crowds to populate the football stadiums.
“There’s two different things you’re gonna see when you watch through any of the episodes we do,” says Parker. “There’s either no stadium at all, it’s all empty, or they do sometimes shoot the dugout shots at the real stadium and we’re just adding people to the seats.”
With more than a thousand shots used this season, Parker says he needed a “very robust way of being able to change techniques depending on the shot we were taking.” This required using multiple “crowd techniques,” such as shooting tile plates, using sprite crowd elements and creating a computer-generated crowd.
While he admits he’s not a “sports guy,” Parker found the crowds of a football game to be more reactionary than other crowds. “Everyone’s very into it, so that also became a huge part of the job, which was taking those crowds and going with whatever was happening within the sequence… and really dialing in on those emotions.”
Check out the panel video above.