The Last Bus (Netflix)
Live action sci-fi series that follows a group of mismatched students on a school trip who become unlikely heroes when a robot apocalypse zaps away the rest of humanity. Starring Robert Sheehan, Tom Basden (After Life, Plebs) and an ensemble cast of young actors.
The 19 week shoot in August 2020 and the production team harnessed LED technology and bespoke hydraulic systems in The Bottle Yard’s 5,000 sq ft green screen studio, to break new ground in what could be achieved without the need for digital effects.
Producer Andy Mosse said: “We developed a way to use LED screens as a full 360 degree wrap around the bus so that we could shoot in any direction with any backdrop, which hadn’t been done before. The panoramic 360 images we projected were captured with 12 x 4K cameras built on a bespoke rigged car we called the ‘hotdog’. Combine this with some hydraulic Wallace and Gromit type levers plugged into the suspension of the bus, you’ve got a moving bus interior that bumps and weaves with the road and can be shot in camera with no digital effects needed.”
Wildseed’s Managing Director Miles Bullough says: “Bristol is Wildseed’s home and it was important for us from the outset that The Last Bus should be made here in the city. The Bottle Yard was our ideal facility, with its vast green screen and adaptable spaces. At one point we had 5 double deckers parked up together inside; an impressive sight, not to mention a parking feat!
“The Studios gave us space and freedom to push the boundaries of what we could do on the green screen using LED, which was a real gamechanger. Plus their onsite college students studying Film & TV with boomsatsuma got to see those sets and learn about the shoot which is so important for new talent coming up. The Film Office made it easy to film at Redcliffe Caves and The Downs, awesome locations right here on our doorstep, and we found all the other locations we needed nearby in the South West.”
On location, filming took place at Bristol’s Redcliffe Caves and The Downs (assisted by Bristol Film Office), Cheddar Gorge, Brean Leisure Park, Wookey Hole in Somerset and the Eden Project in Cornwall.