Ships of the Northern Fleet TV Show Wiki
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Erik Tait, producer and on camera talent for PenguinMagic.com, was hired as a sleight of hand consultant to teach Nathan Fillion some moves in order to add some realism to explore Captain Hellman's relationship with the game Ta'll Maruke in Season 3 Episode 2. Tait was kept on and brought on as a Special Effects Technician in Episode 4 of the same season. Erik continued on as a special effects technician working largely with practical effects being installed into the interior sets, and working to train hundreds of extras in the use of the English Transfer to facilitate reloading weapons in battle scenes to maintain continuity with the novels. In Season 6 Tait was elevated to Special Effects Supervisor before ultimately leaving the show to pursue other work outside of television.


Notable Practical Effects


The Death of Bosley

Tait was apart of the effects team that allowed Bosley's death to happen on screen in a way that allowed Catie Osborn to truly experience the vanish of her long time on screen compatriot. A large metal frame was fabricated and painted with Culture Hustle's BLACK 2.0 paint to prevent light from reflecting off of it. The frame was then fited with a matte black spandex sheet that was pre-stretched, but fitted loosely to the frame. When Bosley fell the actor hit the spandex sheet and appeared to fall into nothingness because the spandex was able to collapse around the actor. The actor fell through an elastic hoop that compressed around the actor sealing them in to the spandex and preventing bounce back. This effect was not relayed to Osborn prior to the shoot, who showed genuine confusion and horror seeing her castmate literally disappear on the set in front of her.

The Cog Hogs

The effect of the Cog Hogs moving so freely around the set has been attributed to Tait bringing a Sphero robot meant to be given to his niece onto the set and allowing other crew members to play with it. A bucket was set on top of the robotic toy and forgotten about for three hours. Upon looking for the robot the remote was activated and the sudden movement of the bucket autonomously moving across the set of a Cogs-Folk air ship. Tait took the robot to a local creature shop who then adapted the toys to allow Cog Hogs to run en masse around Cogs-Folks air ships as referenced in the 5th novel, and depicted in the stand alone graphic novels. While fans have accused Star Wars of lifting the design of the Cog Hogs for BB-8, Tait has repeatedly pointed out the designs are completely different in actual practice, and attributed the real work to the engineers who created the fury animatronics. He was just, "A guy who saw a bucket move and told a real engineer about it."

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