The makers of Netflix comedy Man Vs Bee have missed a trick. After all, a show about Rowan Atkinson and a winged insect should have been called Mr Bee. We hope that was the working title at least.
In its final form, Man Vs Bee pits Trevor (Atkinson) against an incorrigible bug in a luxury house. Rather than train a bee like in the good old days, the show enlisted Framestore to create a photorealistic one. The results impressed series director David Kerr no end.
"Framestore gave us our co-star: a bee so beautifully animated and richly-rendered it seems every bit as real and characterful as its human counterparts," Kerr says. "[VFX supervisor] Rob Duncan and his team were wonderful collaborators."
They also used puppets and Atkinson's feedback to make the bee a convincing comedy sidekick: "We had to stay on the right side of the line of it being a believable insect rather than a caricature. There is a real skill in understanding the difference between the two, and knowing when we're taking it too far and need to rein it back in."
To see Framestore's black-and-yellow creation in action, watch all nine episodes of Man Vs Bee here.