‘Monarch”s visual effects whiz Sean Konrad makes monsters — but says the humans make the series work


The Apple TV+ series Monarch: Legacy of the Monsters is now streaming, and while Godzilla and the other kaiju seen in the show aren’t real, it’s Sean Konrad‘s job to make you believe.

Konrad is the lead visual effects person on the series, which stars Kurt and Wyatt Russell, Anders Holm and Anna Sawai. Konrad tells ABC Audio the secret to creating realistic monsters. “You take something from the real world that’s freaky and strange and then you embellish on it in some way,” he explains.

“So like, a lot of my inspiration is, like, I’ll go to the creepy, strange things at the bottom of the ocean, and then we’ll put together like Pinterest boards and have little chats about it.”

Konrad is a veteran of this particular monsterverse, having cut his teeth on the 2014 Godzilla film. But while his expertise is bringing monsters to life, he says Monarch’s secret is the humans behind the story.

“Sometimes you get with these big blockbuster films where, ‘OK, I’ve got an idea for an action sequence, and then we’re going to like reverse engineer how the people react to it,"” he explains.

Konrad continues, “Apple was really clear — they wanted big, crazy action scenes. But also a thing that … really works about this is that this is an emotional story with characters, and those characters drive these set pieces. It’s not sort of the opposite way around.”

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