“Working with Neil Jordan, Take 5 and the entire production team has been a delight. Together, we have pushed the boundaries of feature quality period environments on a television schedule. It has been a fruitful collaboration and we look forward to producing future shows together”, says Neishaw Ali, Spin President and Visual Effects Executive Producer (Game of Thrones, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn)
Spin created the Italian Renaissance world for the three seasons of The Borgias. Visual effects widened the visual scope through the creation of geographically accurate landscapes, extension of physical sets, augmenting the size and density of crowds, as well as enhancing action with particle simulations and dynamics to sell the warfare and destruction of the era.
VFX Supervisor Wojciech Zielinski and Producer J.P Giamos led Spin’s team to deliver over 300 shots for the third season, including historically accurate matte paintings and environments of St. Peter’s Square, Interior and Exterior Vatican, Castle St. Angelo, Gates of Naples, Gates of Avignon, Kefalonia Harbour, Milan Square, and Forli Castle, including Cesare’s destructive attack. Additional work was comprised of digital crowd augmentation of peasants, noblemen, and armies, blood augmentation and general clean up.
“Careful planning of assets and locations on the front end, was key to taking the viewer into the period of the time. Our team was meticulous at researching the Italian Renaissance. Developing dynamics and particle simulations for destruction and the battlements was also challenging, but loads of fun”, says Wojciech Zielinski, VFX Supervisor (Fast & Furious, Silent Hill)
Maya was used for 3D modelling, Mari for textures, lighting and look development in Katana and rendered in RenderMan. Massive was used for the 3D crowd system.
Over 1000 shots were delivered across all three seasons. Doug Campbell, VFX Supervisor and Luke Groves, VFX Producer led the team in the first and second seasons. Combined, Spin’s VFX team has garnered:
- 2013 Primetime Emmy Nomination, Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role
- 2013 Canadian Screen Award Nomination, Best Visual Effects in a Program or Series
- 2012 Primetime Emmy Nomination, Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role
- 2011 Gemini Nomination, Best Visual Effects
- 2011 Primetime Emmy Nomination, Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series
Conceived and written by Showrunner Neil Jordan, The Borgias is produced by Take 5 Productions, Octagon Films and Mid Atlantic Films.
Special thank you to the Take 5 Productions team, Executive Producers John Weber and Sheila Hockin, Producer Bill Goddard, Production VFX Producer, Bill Halliday and Gina Vanni, VP, Finance and Production.