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Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation

Client
Netflix
Format
TV series
Release Date
21st October 2016
Brief

To create a dystopian swarm of robotic killer drone bees for Netflix's groundbreaking series.

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In this world, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s real… Jellyfish Pictures provided the creature VFX for the final and longest episode for season 3 of the groundbreaking series Black Mirror, which debuted on Netflix on October 2016.

Automated Drone Insects, robotic bees with collective intelligence, were created and deployed. Updating classic horror imagery and techniques to realise this contemporary dystopia was a really exciting challenge for our teams. From benign individuals to hostile killer swarms comprising tens of thousands, the nightmare vision was released in 4K.

Written by series creator and showrunner Charlie Brooker and directed by James Hawes, the episode is a murder mystery, and follows Detective Karin Parke (Kelly Macdonald) and her new partner Blue Coulson (Faye Marsay) who, together with the help of National Crime Agency officer Shaun Li (Benedict Wong), try to solve the inexplicable deaths of people who were all the target of social media.

The episode was inspired by the Nordic noir genre, winning much critical acclaim.

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Working closely with Painting Practice and director James Hawes, Jellyfish were tasked with coming up with the detailed robotic CGI bees, which needed to be both convincing as regular bees, but on closer inspection, hint at the menacing robotic threat they posed. With a nod to Hitchcock's birds, the bees needed to work both in close up, and as a wider menacing swarm. Head of CG Dave Cook and his team worked closely with the 2D department at Jellyfish Pictures to convincingly embed the bees into this dystopian world, delivering many shots across the 90 min episode.

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