Loki’s production designer, Kasra Farahani, details the huge practical set that was built from scratch to give an authentic look for Lamentis.
While the episode is majorly about the growing bond between Loki and Sylvie, it is the cinematography and visual effects that emerge as the real winner. The episode features an alien planet with an extraordinary landscape made of incredibly futuristic architecture. The best part is the magnificent one-shot that captures the destruction of the metropolis when the planet above crashes into it. Throughout the episode, viewers get to witness stellar heights of stunning visual effects that put Loki on par with The Mandalorian as it breathes life into a fantastical location.
Given the extent of the visual effects, many concluded that the creators of Loki must have used The Volume from Industrial Light and Magic, just like The Mandalorian, to achieve the end result. But production designer, Kasra Farahani, has already confirmed that this was not the case for the series, especially in its third episode. In a chat with Comicbook, Faharani shared that for “Lamentis,” a 16-feet high practical set was built from scratch to present the city of Sharoo, which is seen in the closing minutes of the episode. Read what Farahani said below:
“The entirety of Sharoo — the city at the end of the Lamentis episode — that whole town was built up to 16 feet…Everything above 16 feet was set extended. There’s a ton of stuff in this show because of the way I like to design, because of the way Autumn [Durald], our DP, likes to shoot a lot of low angle footage.”
There’s a lot of the show that ended up just being fully in-camera,” the designer adds. “And it’s funny because I think a lot of people have been remarking on the show look, and while they may not know exactly why, I think that they’re probably picking up on that kind of added level of tactility and realism that the show has because so many of these environments are in-camera. Because I think that tactility and that realism is particularly important when you’re in a fantasy environment, where the conceit is fantastical. It becomes all the more striking when the spaces are tangibly there.
In the span of just six episodes, Loki has jumped between Earth, the timeless headquarters of the Time Variance Authority, an alien planet on the verge of being destroyed in 2077, the scary Void, and the citadel beyond the end of time. Though using The Volume just like Disney+’s The Mandalorian seemed like the obvious choice, Farahani has shared that the advanced technology “just wasn’t creatively super-relevant” for Loki. Thus, they instead opted to physically create the more traditional practical sets.
But despite not using The Mandalorian’s inventive technology, Loki doesn’t disappoint when it comes to reality-bending special effects. Whether it was the terrifying temporal monster, Alioth, or the ruins of the Void, the efforts put into set design and visual effects are hard to miss. Given how the series only amped up the quality of its effects as it progressed, it is safe to predict that the Visual Effects category in the Emmys next year already has a worthy contender.
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