Helping the hosts go haywire
It's not easy playing an artificial intelligence plagued by existentialist thought. Whenever the Westworld park's hosts need to go a little haywire, the visual-effects team is usually involved to sell the malfunction.
Worth says his team has three different methodologies for robotic breakdown. Old Bill (Michael Wincott), an early model who converses with Dr. Ford in the first episode, suffers from wear and tear, so jerking, mechanical-like motion was added with computer graphics. For the malfunctioning Sheriff Pickett (Brian Howe), Worth's team added glitching and eyeball movement that follows a fly.
Effects on Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum), Dolores' father, were even more delicate. "We ended up doing very little to Louis' performance," says Worth. "I wanted that to feel more like someone struggling, almost having a stroke, rather than something that felt mechanical, and because his performance was amazing and already felt very organic. But we did do a little bit of digital massaging using 2D tricks with making him stop and start when Dr. Ford was giving him commands to go between the 'previous builds,' as he calls it."