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WandaVision's VFX Supervisor Shares The Biggest Influences On The Look For The Show - Exclusive

When it came to inspiration for her work on Marvel Studios' smash Disney+ series WandaVision, visual effects supervisor Tara DeMarco looked not only to a treasure trove of jaw-dropping special effects in the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also to the panels of the Marvel Comics, where the characters first came to life.

WandaVision marks the first foray into the MCU for DeMarco, whose previous credits include the indie sports comedy The Bronze and the biographical drama The Pirates of Somalia (which stars Pietro Maximoff actor Evan Peters). And while DeMarco has never tackled any project the scale of WandaVision, diving into the series felt like a natural progression to her since she's long been a Marvel fan.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, DeMarco said it made the most sense to look for inspiration in the MCU films featuring the relationship between Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). Their love story appeared doomed with Vision's death in Avengers: Infinity War, but it magically — make that Chaos-Magically — came back to life in WandaVision.

"We took inspiration from [Avengers: Age ofUltron and from several of the other films with Wanda and Vision for our show, and that set the bar quite high for the kind of visual effects we wanted to achieve for WandaVision, to keep it in that same ballpark," DeMarco told Looper. "Then we began filming in the summer or fall of 2019, after we had seen Endgame, which was so big and so inspirational."

As a result, DeMarco said, "It all just set a scene and set a bar — not that we have massive talking Hulks or badasses — but it was inspirational to see what could be achieved by the same group of people and try to tell our story, and elevate it to the place that was right."

Tara DeMarco says Witches' Road influenced the work on the Agatha-Wanda storyline

Undoubtedly one of the biggest thrills in WandaVision was the live-action debut of the Marvel villain Agatha Harkness, whose delightfully wicked ways were brought to life by Kathryn Hahn. To guide the visual effects sequences featuring Agatha and Wanda (later officially dubbed the Scarlet Witch), DeMarco and her team looked to writer James Robinson's 2016 release Scarlet Witch Vol. 1: Witches' Road.

"We all on the show read Witches' Road, just because Agatha Harkness is in it and there is a bit of the relationship of Agatha and Wanda in the show," DeMarco told Looper. "I actually didn't really know how much of that translated into the script, but I did take inspiration from a few of the elements of Witches' Road."

From a visual effects standpoint, DeMarco said the most exciting scene for her and her team to execute was final showdown between Agatha and Wanda in the series finale.

"It was incredible to see Agatha and Wanda and their duel, and the Rune reveal at the end," DeMarco enthused. "And we had all, even [those who worked] on the show, been waiting for [Wanda's Scarlet Witch] costume reveal for quite a while because we had to film the scene with her Mind Stone reveal — the little scenes that form in the Mind Stone and then [reflect] in her eye. We had waited to shoot the beats until we had the costume with the crown, and we had Wanda up on wires with the wind and everything. So, it was huge to get to do that."

Tara DeMarco would love to return to work in the MCU, but on what?

Now that WandaVision is over with and DeMarco has the time to reflect on her work in the MCU, the visual effects artist isn't quite ready to reveal a wish list of other Marvel projects she'd like to work on.

"I don't actually know. I mean, I'm such a fan of Marvel as well as being a part of it, that I like seeing what other people create as well," DeMarco shared with Looper. "There's really a relationship with your director and your writer and the studio that is a special little combination of people that we found for WandaVision that was wonderful. And so, I would want another project to have that special cocktail, even if it wasn't necessarily the characters [I know much about]."

DeMarco isn't shy about revealing her favorite MCU character, however: Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. She loves what her fellow visual effects artists have done to give Rocket such a vibrant live-action life. 

"The character of Rocket is incredible. As a visual effects person and as a fan, I love Rocket [and] I know that Rocket has been executed so well," DeMarco said. "I would want the same people to continue to do that and make him amazing."

All nine episodes of WandaVision are streaming now on Disney+.