Since jumping through space and time isn’t one of Gallagher’s many real-life talents (that we know of), “The Umbrella Academy” uses special effects to make it look like Number Five is jumping from, say, Dallas in 1963 to the Academy in 2019. It’s a combination of modern digital effects, made with a green screen, and a good old-fashioned wind machine. If you’ve ever trudged headlong into a gale, or hosted your own “America’s Next Top Model” photo shoot, you know that wind doesn’t bend to the demands of humans — even those who wish to harness it for the sake of art.
Gallagher learned that while shooting the scene in which Five finally manages to travel from 1963 to the night of the Academy’s adopted patriarch’s funeral. He had to stand on a wooden box, wearing oversized clothes originally designed for his older self, and scream while pushing his arms into the wind. It sounds dorky, but that’s the magic of green screen. In the middle of one take, Gallagher got so into the moment that he actually fell off the box, and that was definitely not fixable in post.
Ever the pro, he quickly recovered, and didn’t seem hurt. However, seeing the permanently unruffled Number Five finally meet his match in the form of a wind machine is enjoyably humanizing. And that wasn’t even the most difficult scene Gallagher had to film for “The Umbrella Academy.”