The Spanish Princess 2
February 10, 2021
Some more regal VFX, this time fit for a Spanish Princess. We were thrilled to be awarded all the VFX on the second series of The Spanish Princess, an eight part episodic drama for Carnival Films / Starz.
Following on from our work on Catherine the Great and The Great and Mary Queen of Scots, this is out fourth encounter with a Queen. Picking up 18 months after the first series ended, the story continues with Queen Catherine and Henry VIII presiding over the most glamorous court in Europe.
Led BlueBolt VFX Supervisor, Richard Frazer and VFX Producer, Michelle Cullen, we delivered 347 shots for the series, including, large scale environment extensions to the London Docks and the Battle of Flodden, military camp extensions as well as huge CG army, CG ships, and modern clean up.
Richard Frazer explains the challenges of the Battle of Flodden, “Some of the narrative beats of the Battle of Flodden were based around the hilly geography of the battlefield, as well as the foggy weather and thick mud. We helped augment the shooting location in the Chilterns to make it appear grander and hillier, along with digitally adding layers of thick fog to obscure the armies. We also added hundreds of CG troops to bulk out the numbers of extras that were used.”
The BlueBolt team were also tasked with conveying the grand scale of The Field of Cloth of Gold. In a sweeping aerial shot the encampments of the English, French and Spanish armies are revealed and BlueBolt added hundreds of additional CG tents, digital characters, horses, flags and period detail, to recreate the meeting of thousands of people in the famous historical event.
To ensure key sequences for VFX were shot efficiently and the required data captured for Post-Production, the on-set team lead by on-set VFX Supervisor, Matt Badham, were on set for the heavy sequences, such as the Joust sequence, The Field of the Cloth of Gold sequence, Stafford’s beheading, and the Battle of Flodden.
The shoot lasted around six months and location shooting took place all over Western England and Southern Wales, including Berkeley Castle, Caerphilly Castle, Gloucester Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, Barrington Court, and Atlantic College. The main studios were based at Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol.
BlueBolt started initial discussions for The Spanish Princess in August 2019, and delivered the final shots 11 months later in July 2020, when the world was a very different place.
CEO, Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor explains how the team achieved this, “from a technical perspective we’d been preparing for the inevitable for about a month before we were locked down, but then there’s the human element to consider as well, and that’s much harder to plan for.
Our brilliant technical team worked hard to set up secure remote working for everyone, so we had a solid pipeline in place almost straight away and were able to carry on smoothly. Our team used a combination of Zoom and Cinesync to communicate with the client for shot approval, it worked perfectly with everyone able to easily adapt to the new working practice that’s now in place for whatever the future holds for us all.”
You can click here or on any of the images to see BlueBolt’s VFX breakdown video for the show.