‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Season 4: Baby Collin Isn’t Always CGI

Fans of the FX comedy What We Do in the Shadows mourned Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) at the end of season 3. Fortunately, they didn’t have to be sad for long. The season finale showed Colin reborn as a baby with Proksch’s head. What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 continues the Baby Colin storyline. CGI isn’t as prevalent in turning Proksch into Baby Colin as you might think either.

'What We Do in the Shadows' Season 4: Baby Colin (Mark Proksh) sits on a table
Mark Proksch | Pari Dukovic/FX

Proksch was on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel for What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 on June 6. He and executive producer Paul Simms explained how they bring Baby Colin to life. What We Do in the Shadows airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX and the next day on Hulu.

Baby Colin requires more than just CGI on ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Season 4

Computer Generated Imagery has been a staple of film and television for decades. One might imagine they use computers to put Proksch’s face on a baby’s body. However, Proksch said What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 has more tricks up its sleeve. 

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“The VFX team went above and beyond and really utilized every trick in the book that they could come up with to make it work,” Proksch said. “It was really complicated for them to figure it out to make it look as seamless as it does, because it’s a risk. Anytime you say, ‘We are going to turn one of the main characters into a baby,’ it could go sideways very quickly. But they really did a great job. And the writing works so well that I think it comes off pretty seamlessly.”

‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Season 4 couldn’t have relied entirely on CGI

Simms added that CGI wouldn’t have covered Baby Colin in every situation in which What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 will put him. So, they explored other special effects.

‘We never found a way that would work for every shot,” Simms said. “So it was improvisation, technically, the whole way. Sometimes it’s practical effects, sometimes it’s visual effects with the digital effect, sometimes it’s camera angles. Sometimes it’s wigs. We used every trick in the book, which is what you have to do when you plan a big story without knowing how you are going to do it beforehand.”

See Baby Colin grow 

Proksch said playing Baby Colin in What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 opened up new possibilities for him. 

“Stuff that I’ve been wanting Colin to do since season 1 that I thought would be funny, we were able to do this season,” Projsch said.

Simms previewed Baby Colin’s arc in What We Do in the Shadows Season 4.

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“Baby Colin, is a growing boy, who grows a little bit faster than normal humans,” Simms said. “Obviously, the last time we saw him at the end of the last season, he was a little baby. Only a year has passed, and he already appears to be about a 3-year-old. But he stays pretty young through most of the season, I’d say.”

Unbeknownst to Colin, all energy vampires die at age 100. Now, will Baby Colin grow up to be an energy vampire like the original Colin? You’ll have to watch What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 to find out. He certainly demands a lot of Laszlo (Matt Berry).

Colin is a very, very active child with way too much energy. He is something of a drain on the energy of the household. But not in the way that the adult Colin Robinson was where he’ll bore you to death. More the way if any of you have a 2 or 3-year-old, the way you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day. That’s sort of the way Colin makes everyone feel. However, the question is still open as to whether he’s going to grow up and be an energy vampire.

Paul Simms, What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 TCA panel, 6/6/22

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