The Big Reveal 2005 - Part Three

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Our next category, which took place from 10:50am to 11:35am on Saturday, was Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie, or Special. I have not seen these shows on TV at all, but needless to say, having been in the broadcast visual effects business, I can see what kind of pressure these artists are under!

The quality of work that is apparent between the motion picture category and the broadcast categories is varied. As well, there is limited bit depth and resolution which broadcast artists deal with on a day to day basis. Let's continue.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie, or Special

nominees: Sirio Quintaville, Jo Nodwell, Alec Knox, Neil Glaseby

A docu-drama similar to documentaries like Walking With Dinosaurs, this interesting special showcased a look into the lives of dragons. Surprisingly, I can't find any information on IMDB about this special, unlike the show above. The artists were responsible for the creation of three dragons and two T-rexs. It took them about fourteen weeks to complete the 165 shots, totalling 30 minutes of footage. Like any broadcast program, the deadlines and what is expected from the artists are astronomical. The footage shown ranged from dragons integrated with live action water plates, to completely computer generated environments done in flame*.

nominees: Peter Ware, Eric Grenaudier, Jared Jones, Earl Paraszcynec

Legend of Earthsea contained one of my favorite actresses, Kristin Kreuk, of Smallville fame. Besides that, the visual effects from this miniseries bordered on the intolerable. Given the timeframe of the show; ten weeks, and given the increase in the number of shots; from 70 to 200, the reason for the lack of quality is apparent. Unfortunately it is all about the benjamins. The effects work ranged from simple greenscreen pulls, to complex matte paintings. On a positive note, most of the greenscreens were well done, as were some of the matte paintings. The problems arose because of the lack of time to finish the shots, which does show, unfortunately.

Virtual History - The Secret Plot to Kill Hitler
nominees: Jim Radford, Tom Phillips, Simon Thomas, Loraine Cooper

This interesting documentary made for the Discovery Channel boasted about thirty visual effect shots. MPC was responsible for head replacement, which was done with a traditional painted CG head replacement, as opposed to the new technique of 2004 and 2005, which is sub-surface scattering. Actors were chosen because of their likeness to the people of the day; Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill to name a few. The artists were then responsible for creating digital heads for the characters. This took the small team approximately two months to complete in post, with five months total of production. I am really unsure as to why CG head replacement was needed. I mean, they did hire lookalikes. It's too bad their faces aren't in the show.

If there is anything that you would like to know about this session, or any previous or upcoming sessions, please feel free to leave a comment, and I'll try my best to answer it for you! There was an overwhelming amount of footage shown, including detailed shot breakdowns and illustrative techniques used by the artists to overcome the particular hurdles of the shows.

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