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Moonraker VFX Brings Cosmic Noir to Discovery’s ‘Killers of the Cosmos’

The Bristol-based VFX studio developed its own software tools to create over 700 shots in a new genre-defining style for the show’s host, ‘Game of Thrones’ star Aiden Gillen.

Bristol-based visual effects studio Moonraker VFX has set their own company record for the number of shots delivered in a single project to bring a ‘cosmic noir’ style to the Discovery documentary, Killers of the Cosmos. Produced by Wall to Wall Media, the six-part series stars Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) as a gumshoe comic character, who embarks on a detective mission to uncover the evidence and threats to Earth that Space throws at us. Earlier this month AWN shared an exclusive look at footage from the episode “The Case of the Death Ray.”

The team at Moonraker led the production on the 10-minute drama footage within each episode, filming Gillen on greenscreen 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 VFX shots – all of which required bespoke graphic design and animation.

“Ingesting that number of shots, while maintaining a beautiful and consistent look, was a gigantic challenge for the team,” shared Moonraker creative lead Graham Stott. “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 utilized 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.

“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,” explained Moonraker VFX producer Hannah Lewis.

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

Source: Moonraker VFX