‘Silo’ VFX Supervisor Daniel Rauchwerger On The Challenge Of Creating That Spiral Staircase & People Who Walk On It — Visual Effects + Screen

Before VFX Supervisor Daniel Rauchwerger began his work on Apple TV’s Silo, he was told the actual siulo should be treated like a character — not a massive structure where 10,000 are forced to live.

“The design was one open space, so very quickly, we treated it as one room,” Rauchwerger (Inception) said Sunday at Deadline’s Visual Effects + Screen. “Every time you look up, down and sideways, you see the next room. One of the main things that became a challenge was bringing all those people to life, just living their lives.”

Based on Hugh Howey’s trilogy of dystopian novels, Silo is the story of the last 10,000 people on Earth, whose mile-deep home protects them from the toxic and deadly world outside. However, no one knows when or why the silo was built, and any who try to find out face fatal consequences. Rebecca Ferguson stars as Juliette, an engineer who seeks answers about a loved one’s murder and tumbles onto a mystery that goes far deeper than she could have ever imagined, leading her to discover that if the lies don’t kill you, the truth will. 

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The core of Silo‘s set is the massive spiral staircase. Working from a set in London, Rauchwerger said a flurry of effects were created for the steps, like the morning and evening rush hours of people and the different floors where people work, sleep and farm. A great deal of effort was put into what Rauchwerger describes as “crowd captures.”

It’s not so easy, it seems, to create people who are constantly walking on a curved line. But he relished the opportunity. “When I read a script, Silo offered something a bit different, he said. “Other movies have explosive effects. If I’m doing my work right, no one will know I was there.”

Apple TV+ has renewed sci-fi thriller series Silo for a second season. It was created by Emmy-nominated screenwriter Graham Yost, who also serves as showrunner. Joining Ferguson in the ensemble cast are Common, Harriet Walter, Chinaza Uche, Avi Nash, David Oyelowo, Rashida Jones and Tim Robbins.

Check back next week for the panel video.

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