Behind-the-scenes of “Bad Travelling”

Love Death & Robots’ “Bad Travelling” gave Blur Studio a chance to work alongside legendary director David Fincher. Find out what they learned in the process.

Henry Winchester
August 2, 2022
chaos

Cinema is often referred to as painting with light — but it could be said that David Fincher’s movies paint with darkness. Beginning with Alien 3, and moving on through Se7enFight ClubZodiacMank, and the TV series Mindhunter, the acclaimed director has made use of low-key lighting and anemic palettes to explore the darker recesses of the human mind.

Now, Fincher has taken his characteristic chiaroscuro to “Bad Travelling,” a grisly maritime adventure involving a dishonest, paranoid crew — and a giant crustacean lurking below decks. The Love, Death & Robots episode marks Fincher’s first completely computer-animated short film, as well as his first directorial contribution to the Netflix anthology series he executive produces alongside fellow director Tim Miller.

To create the nautical world of “Bad Travelling,” Fincher teamed up with Blur Studio, the animation and VFX production company founded by Miller. We spoke to Compositing Supervisor Nitant Ashok Karnik and Co-CG Supervisor Jean Baptiste Cambier about working with a living legend of modern cinema, and how V-Ray’s lighting tools helped Fincher embrace the darkness.

Read the full interview in two parts:

Behind-the-scenes of “Bad Travelling,” part 1: Collaborating with David Fincher

Behind-the-scenes of “Bad Travelling,” part 2: How to light like David Fincher

Tim Miller at San Diego Comic-Con

Jim Viscardi
July 29, 2022
comicbook

Sitting down with ComicBook‘s Jim Viscardi at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 Deadpool Director Tim Miller discusses comic books, video games, The Goon, his abandoned Lone Wolf and Cub classic manga adaptation with David Fincher and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, another abandoned X-Men comic adaptation project, Deadpool, Love, Death & Robots and its “The Art of” book.

Love, Death + Robots

Volume 3 directors break the rules with David Fincher, Tim Miller, and Jennifer Yuh Nelson at the helm.

Moderated by Laura Prudom
July 20, 2022
Netflix Queue

David Fincher had produced two volumes of his Emmy Award-winning anthology series Love, Death + Robots before he decided to make his animated directing debut in the third volume. His episode, “Bad Travelling,” tells the story of a sailing vessel attacked by a giant, bloodthirsty crustacean. “My take on it skewed more towards [the reality TV series about crab fishermen] Deadliest Catch meets Alien, with a touch of motorcycle touring gear thrown in for good measure. It’s not swashbuckling at all. You get this idea that this is a rough job — it’s not something you aspire to.”

Love, Death + Robots, was a project that Academy Award-nominated Fincher (MankMindhunter) and fellow executive producer Tim Miller (Deadpool) had longed to make for years. Inspired by the boundary-pushing comic magazine Heavy Metal (co-founded by acclaimed comic artist Moebius in the 70s) and motivated by a keen desire to move the needle on animated storytelling, they worked to craft a platform that could house a range of creators and styles under the same roof.

Since its 2019 debut, Love, Death + Robots has impressed an ever-growing fanbase of critics and audiences with its bold, fearless approach. “It’s not even creative freedom,” describes Oscar-winning Spanish animator Alberto Mielgo, “I would say, almost creative anarchy.” Mielgo, whose first season animated short “The Witness” earned two Emmys, returns in the third season with “Jibaro,” a meticulously crafted 3D animation chronicling a deaf knight’s deadly dance with a golden siren. “Jibaro” is the only original work featured in Volume 3.

The other eight installments are artful adaptations of sci-fi and fantasy short stories, covering a wide range of animation styles and narratives: Emily Dean’s trippy, Moebius-inflected tale of an astronaut in peril, “The Very Pulse of The Machine;” Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s (Kung Fu Panda 2 & 3) testosterone-fueled, robo-bear action movie send-up, “Kill Team Kill;” and Fincher’s “Bad Travelling” among them. Miller’s entry “Swarm” notably brings sci-fi legend Bruce Sterling’s fiction to the screen for the very first time. Patrick Osborne’s 3D-animated short “Three Robots: Exit Strategies,” meanwhile, is the series’ first sequel, rejoining Volume 1’s “Three Robots” protagonists K-VRC, XBOT 4000, and 11-45-G as they piece together humanity’s final days on Earth.

Queue brought together creators Fincher, Miller, and Nelson (who serves as the anthology’s supervising director) with contributing directors Mielgo, Dean, and Osborne to discuss the anything-goes approach to the series and their wide-ranging inspirations.

Read the full discussion

The Allan McKay Podcast: Tim Miller, Founder of Blur Studio

Allan McKay
July 5, 2022
The Allan McKay Podcast

Tim Miller is a Film Director, Animator, Creative Director, and VFX Artist. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for the work on his short film Gopher Broke. He made his directing debut with Deadpool. He is also known for creating opening sequences for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Thor: The Dark World.

In 1995, Tim co-founded Blur Studio with David Stinnett and Cat Chapman. Blur is where animators and artists can collaborate and be in control of their creative destinies. Since then, the Studio has evolved into an award-winning production company with work spanning the realms of game cinematics, commercials, feature films, and more. Committed to their clients, artists, and the telling of great stories, Blur continues to grow as a high-end animation studio and original content creator, having recently helmed Netflix’s first animated anthology Love Death + Robots.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Tim about the history of launching Blur, its legacy, Tim’s ongoing collaboration with David Fincher, directing Deadpool and Terminator: Dark Fate, and creating Love Death + Robots.

Listen to the podcast:

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
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Stitcher
libsyn

Follow Allan on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Sound + Image Lab: Creating a Successful Anthology TV Series, LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS Season 3

Glenn Kiser, Director of the Dolby Institute
June 21, 2022
The Dolby Institute

Season 3 of the eleven-time Emmy winning series LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS hit Netflix on May 20th and we are delighted to sit down with creator Tim Miller, supervising director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, and supervising sound editor Brad North to discuss how they managed to succeed where so many others have failed — creating a hit anthology television series.

“It really comes down to who’s doing the shorts. There’s been a lot of care trying to match-make: The shorts, the stories, the directors, and the studios. You’ve got a whole lifetime of experience with people and studios that Tim has worked with at Blur. People that have been doing incredible content, that maybe haven’t had the opportunity to do a feature yet, because of the size and experimentalism of that particular place. And to be able to hook them up with really good, solid stories that they can put all of their effort into making that, actually, great. You’re not spinning a lot of wheels here. You’re doing amazing. Everything goes right to the screen.” — Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Supervising Director, LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS

Watch LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS on Netflix

Listen to the Sound + Image Lab: The Dolby Institute Podcast:

Apple Podcasts
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TuneIn

Connect with Dolby on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Love, Death + Robots. Inside the Animation: Bad Travelling

June 15, 2022
Netflix (YouTube)

David Fincher, director of Bad Travelling featured in Love, Death + Robots Vol. 3 discusses how he approached directing his first animated short.

Read the LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3 guide

Watch LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS on Netflix

Play, Watch, Listen: Troy Baker talks Love, Death + Robots’ episode Bad Travelling

Alanah Pearce, Troy Baker, Mike Bithell, and Austin Wintory
June 10, 2022
Play, Watch, Listen (Alanah Pearce)

Join Alanah Pearce (game writer), Troy Baker (voice actor), Mike Bithell (game director), and Austin Wintory (game composer) as they talk about all the games, movies, TV and ‘whatever else’ that took their interest that week, from four unique perspectives in the games industry.

Play, Watch, Listen is also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and more. Follow it on Twitter and Instagram.

Alanah Pearce: Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, Facebook, Patreon
Troy Baker: Twitter, YouTube
Mike Bithell: Twitter, Steam
Austin Wintory: Twitter

‘Love, Death + Robots’ Season 3: David Fincher Gets Animated for the First Time on ‘Bad Travelling’

The animators tell IndieWire what it was like collaborating with Fincher on the mo-cap character animation and giant, slimy crab.

Bill Desowitz
June 9, 2022
IndieWire

It’s easy to see why David Fincher chose “Bad Travelling” as his first foray into directing animation. He made his feature debut with the ill-fated “Alien 3,” after all, and the premise of this third-season episode of “Love, Death + Robots” is a bit like setting the plight of the Nostromo on the high seas: A giant, slimy crab devours the crew of a shark-hunting vessel, with only the cunning navigator surviving to battle the beast. (It also makes up for Fincher’s aborted take on “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” at Disney.)

Fincher also likens “Bad Travelling” to “Ten Little Indians” meets “Deadliest Catch,” with the ship’s navigator, Torrin (Troy Baker), contending with mutiny, betrayal, and a starving Thanapod crustacean that bizarrely communicates through ventriloquism.

“You don’t necessarily want to see them come to unnatural ends,” Fincher said about the crew in the production notes. “The idea was not to make them despicable, but self-serving. That’s the thing I always loved about Harry Dean Stanton and Yaphet Kotto in ‘Alien’….”

Read the full profile

Siren vs. Soldier

Emmy and Oscar award-winner Alberto Mielgo’s animated short “Jibaro” thrills in Season 3 of Tim Miller and David Fincher’s groundbreaking anthology series Love, Death + Robots.

Ryan G. Smith
June 1, 2022
Netflix Queue

When Oscar and Emmy winner Alberto Mielgo was invited to pitch a story for the latest volume of the 11-time Emmy-winning series Love, Death + Robots, the Spanish director, artist, and animator decided to use a folkloric lens to examine the lengths to which some people will go to obtain what they cannot have. The resulting short, “Jibaro,” centers the battle of a deaf knight desperate to slay a golden siren and claim her as a trophy. The mythic creature grows increasingly frustrated, failing to understand why her opponent is immune to the powers of her song.

“It was inspired by those videos on National Geographic where there is an alligator fighting a jaguar for food,” Mielgo says. “It’s a crazy, toxic relationship between two characters, two predators, who both want and need each other.”

The unconventional and breathtaking episode is among nine new shorts included in the third volume of Love, Death + Robots. When executive producers Tim Miller and David Fincher first dreamed up the concept for Love, Death + Robots, they had a clear creative objective: “Let’s make a sandbox where anything’s possible,” explains Fincher, the Oscar-nominated director best known for live-action films like Mank, as well as the TV series MINDHUNTER. Fincher makes his animated directorial debut with the Volume 3 short “Bad Travelling,” a motion-capture masterpiece following a crew of degenerate sailors contending with a giant crustacean who boards their ship with an appetite for destruction. “We’re just telling stories. I think that the best of it works on a childlike level — and a naughty teenager level. As an adult looking at it, I appreciate that.”

Read the full profile

Love, Death, Robots + Books

Love, Death + Robots: The Official Anthology. Volume One

The sixteen stories and two screenplays that make up Volume One of the Emmy® award-winning Netflix Original series Love, Death & Robots.
Featuring best-selling authors and screenwriters from all over the globe, curated by filmmakers Tim Miller and David Fincher.

Stories and screenplays by: Alastair Reynolds, Alberto Mielgo, Claudine Griggs, David W. Amendola, Joe Lansdale, John Scalzi, Ken Liu, Kirsten Cross, Marko Kloos, Michael Swanwick, Peter F. Hamilton, Steven Lewis, and Vitaliy Shushko.

Imprint: Cohesion Press
Publication Date: May 14, 2021

PAPERBACK
ISBN-10: ‎ 1925623386
ISBN-13: 978-1925623383
Page Count: 310
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches (13.97 x 21.59 x 1.78 cm)
Weight: ‎ 13.7 ounces (388 g)
Price: $14.95, £9.95

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B0923HJQ5G
Page Count: 312
Price: $6.97 / £5.49 (Kindle)

Love, Death + Robots: The Official Anthology. Volumes Two & Three

The seventeen stories and screenplays that make up Volumes Two and Three of the Emmy® award-winning Netflix Original series Love, Death & Robots.
Featuring best-selling authors and screenwriters from all over the globe, curated by filmmakers Tim Miller and David Fincher.

Stories and screenplays by: Neal Asher, Paolo Bacigalupi, J. G. Ballard, Alan Baxter, Justin Coates, Harlan Ellison, Joachim Heijndermans, Joe Lansdale, Richard Larson, Alberto Mielgo, Jeff Fowler & Tim Miller, John Scalzi, Bruce Sterling, and Michael Swanwick.

Imprint: Cohesion Press
Publication Date: May 20, 2022

PAPERBACK
Coming Soon…

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B09XKRQ6NJ
Page Count: 318
Price: $6.97 / £5.49 (Kindle)

The Art of Love, Death + Robots

By Ramin Zahed

Love Death + Robots is a Netflix series like no other—a breath-taking journey of mature, high-concept tales told with seductive characters, astounding plots, and explosive action. With each episode crafted by different animation teams across the globe, the thought-provoking anthology covers a vast range of animation styles from edgy 2D to stop-motion to anime to hyper-realistic 3D CG.

In this luxury book, discover the wealth of artwork and stories behind the creation of the series’ first three volumes. Includes interviews with key artists and creatives such as series creators Tim Miller and David Fincher, and is full to the brim with everything from beautiful concept art, character studies, costume sketches, paintings, vehicle designs, storyboards, and early vision decks, through to finished frames. Perfect for any fan of animation.

Imprint: Titan Books
Publication Date: July 26, 2022

HARDCOVER
ISBN-10: ‎ 1789098645
ISBN-13: 978-1789098648
Page Count: 256
Dimensions: 9.06 x 11.63 inches (23 x 29.5 cm)
Weight: ‎ 1.25 pounds (0.57 Kg)
Price: $40.50, £34.99

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B09VX91VQX
ISBN-13: 978-1803360812
Page Count: 256
Price: $20.06 / £14.58 (Kindle), $22.99 (NOOK Book)