Netflix’s comedy series ‘Man vs Bee’ revolves around the enthralling conflict between Trevor Bingley, a house sitter, and a bee which unsettles him while he is house-sitting at a mansion. After several failed attempts to let the bee out of the mansion, Trevor decides to kill it. His efforts to annihilate the insect results in several mishaps that damages the mansion and his clients’ assets. As the series progresses, the bee becomes a scary destructive force in Trevor’s life. Captivated by the insect, we have found out whether the bee is real or CGI. Let us share our findings!
Is the Bee Real or CGI?
The bee is CGI. BAFTA and Academy Award-winning visual effects company Framestore conceived the CGI bee for the show. The use of CGI was a challenge for the creative heads of the series. “That [creating the bee using CGI] put enormous pressure on us because it’s called ‘Man vs Bee’ so you better deliver the bee. It’s the co-star. [Otherwise] you’re calling the show ‘Man,’” director David Kerr told Variety about conceiving a convincing CGI bee. Despite the challenges, the crew succeeded in creating an impeccable bee for the show.
Since the bee was created through CGI, actor Rowan Atkinson had to adjust to the physical absence of a “co-performer” while filming the show. While shooting the scenes that feature a static bee, the crew used a tiny model bee as well. Using a prop bee at the end of a moving rod, specifically while filming scenes that feature the bee flying, was another method used to help Atkinson adapt to the lack of a physical performer at the other end. A puppeteer was on the set to guide Atkinson on the same.
Animators at Framestore had to create the bee with attention to detail. “Bees don’t do facial expressions. So you can’t have a bee raising an eyebrow or its lips wrinkling [in] a smile or anything. So you’re relying on things like how it rubs its antenna together and cleans them or whether it leans back on its hind quarters, or how quickly or quietly it sort of moves its wings,” Kerr told Variety in the same interview about the details incorporated in the CGI bee.
The nuanced details added to the bee, especially its particular movements and actions, give the insect an anthropomorphic quality to be a potent rival of a human being. “It’s these really subtle physical details that you rely on to deliver your attitude or to suggest emotion,” Kerr added about the same.