Agents of SHIELD: Here’s How VFX Team Helped Recreate the 1930s

The final season of Agents of SHIELD came to an end last month after a whirlwind time travel adventure. The agents visited many periods throughout time, starting with the 1930s. Recently, had the chance to chat with Digital Domain's Mitch Drain, who told us how they created the helicarrier in the series finale. He also took it back to the seventh season's first couple of episodes and explained how they brought that time period to life through VFX.

"The work from the '30s, we did our own research on that. Mark [Kolpack] obviously had his research as well," Drain explained. "One thing that was really fortunate for us is that [Digital Domain] has a big library, a vast library of buildings and structures from all time periods so we were able to draw from that and really kind of give them a lot more than they might have bargained for as far as assets because it was already prebuilt and something we could edit and fit into the sequences. So especially for like 1930s New York, having all the buildings going off into the distance, we were able to select buildings that looked like New York. Anything modern we were able to take off and kind of populate as much of the city as they needed us to."

During the interview, Drain also talked about working in VFX during the pandemic and revealed the biggest challenge.

"The one thing that may be a bit of a handicap, and I hesitate to use 'handicap' because we're working around it just fine, is that if you're working on a feature film, you want to see things in the screening room. You want to see it how the audience can see it. Of course at home, sure, if DD wants to send me a 70 inch TV I guess I'll put it up in my office. But in lieu of that, I have my computer monitors and I can review work that way. So I do miss the ability to see things in their biggest, largest form. However, I will say, as things get better and as we get more used to this way of working, I'm certain there's ways that I could get down to the studio and go into the screening room and look at work that way. There's a solution to all of these problems."

The first six seasons of Agents of SHIELD are streaming on Netflix, and you can watch the series finale on Hulu.