Flipbook Studio delivered 700 shots for CBBC’s The Worst Witch Season Four
The Manchester-based studio applied digital FX across the whole series
Manchester, April 2020 – Now entering its fourth season, the TV adaptation of Jill Murphy’s, The Worst Witch, has become a global fan-favourite. The joint BBC, Netflix and ZDF production follows a group of young witches enrolled at a school for magic, depicting a world full of spells, flying broomsticks and altered dimensions, all created using Visual Effects.
Having successfully worked across season three of The Worst Witch, Flipbook Studio returned to the series, matching the new and expansive storyline with an equally broad range of CG – this included the creation of the series’ notorious realm, the Vanishment, a dimensional dumping area with lost objects endlessly dropping into piles.
To deliver over 700 shots for the new series, Flipbook worked closely with the BBC’s in-house staff – the producers and SFX team – to achieve the director’s vision.
The best of both
To successfully place the visual effects within the real-world shots, Flipbook worked alongside the BBC’s design department and the Quicksilver SFX team, using both practical and digital techniques to correct the scale, realism and impact of the VFX on-screen. To create a ladder of floating CG broomsticks, a moveable rig with a green screen was deployed on-site – drones were then used to provide an accurate sense of height. The team of artists directly placed the CG broomsticks in-shot afterwards to complete the daring stunt.
Ben Haworth, Creative Director and Co-Founder, “Securing VFX work at the BBC involved an extensive pitching process that included several key interviews. We figured out some ways to help increase the production value for the flying elements from the last season and presented our ideas for the upcoming scenes. There was a remit to build on the success of the VFX from season 3 and with that knowledge under our belt, it helped us plan and develop the effects and magic to achieve even greater heights. We’re really proud to have had the opportunity to work with the BBC once again”.
Across multiple episodes, the witches show off their speedrunning technique, climaxing in a race to the witch games. The artists created digital doubles that matched the exact movements of the live-action runners to emit particles and create the effect of slipstreams. Flipbook also added optical aberrations to emulate the distortion of time caused by the runners’ speed. For any wide shots, and for every shot in episode eight, the studio created each runner digitally.
The finale of the Worst Witch season four aired on April 20th on CBBC – check out BBC iPlayer to catch all of Flipbook Studio’s VFX in action. The Netflix release is coming soon.
About Flipbook Studio
Flipbook is a multidisciplinary production company, we create stunning, innovative, cross-media content utilising high-end VFX, Animation and CGI. They produce visual content for TV commercials, TV drama and factual programmes, film, promotional games cinematics, video games cut-scenes, interactive digital campaigns and print work for a multitude of different industry brands and products. Their VFX portfolio includes TV dramas such as ITV’s Cilla, The Worst Witch (BBC/NETFLIX/ZDF), Idris Elba No Limits (Endemol Shine) and Scott and Bailey (ITV Studios).
For more information, please visit at Flipbook Studio