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2019 Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Special VFX

07.17.2019 — Categories: , ,

2019 Emmy Award Nominations




Game of Thrones Makes History with 32 Nominations —
THE THIRD FLOOR Receives its Fifth Nomination on the Show’s Visual Effects Team


Congratulations to HBO and the entire scope of collaborators on Game of Thrones for a remarkable 32 Emmy® Award nominations. THE THIRD FLOOR is honored to have received its fifth Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects on Season 8, “The Bells.”

For the final six-episode arc, thousands of shots were visualized digitally with creatives before filming commenced. Previs artists, headed by supervisor Michelle Blok and previs lead Patrick Tiberius Gehlen modeled out virtual environments to choreograph Dany’s attacks while following Arya and the Hound through the city. Earlier King’s Landing previs assets were fleshed out using lidar scans from Dubrovnik to bring the expanded world of action to life.



Daenerys’ prolonged King’s Landing attack in Season 8, Episode 5 “The Bells” was extensively visualized in previs (pictured) by THE THIRD FLOOR to lay out the choreography with episode director Miguel Sapochink. Per-shot technical schematics and a virtual geography of the city informed construction of sets, paths of action and the capturing of real fire elements, virtually programmed to sync with the digital dragons.

THE THIRD FLOOR collaborated with Lead Visual Effects Producer Steve Kullback and Lead Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Bauer to support live shooting and visual effects creations. Motion base and fire elements were shot using suspended cable cams, high-speed, robotic camera rigs, practical flamethrowers and even a 200-foot travelling eyeline of LEDs to mimic the dragons while capturing plates.



The Red Keep staircase, site of the Season 8, Episode 5 Clegane showdown, was modeled in previs by THE THIRD FLOOR (pictured) and used to ascertain the angles that would be seen. THE THIRD FLOOR produced multiple versions of the previs with various levels of destruction so that Director Miguel Sapochnik could evaluate the best surrounding set designs.

“To deliver Game of Thrones with a high bar on a tight schedule, we needed to plan our shots and tech in a production-friendly way” said Steve Kullback, lead visual effects producer, Game of Thrones.  “THE THIRD FLOOR was our secret weapon for that, embedding with us on the ground in Belfast to provide previs, techvis and on-set virtual supervisors Kaya Jabar and Casey Schatz, who just killed it.  THE THIRD FLOOR’s Eric Carney, who’s been our go-to additional set supervision for the last several years, also took on The Battle of Winterfell and nailed it.”



To capture practical flamethrower elements for dozens of dragon strafes in Season 8, Episode 5, the special effects team, Spydercam system team, motion control operators and THE THIRD FLOOR’s virtual production supervisors flew practical flamethrowers using dragon data from THE THIRD FLOOR’s previs and techvis and Image Engine’s “pre-animation.”

“Season 8 had a tremendous amount of complex action to visualize and plan, particularly in ‘The Bells,’” commented Patrick Gehlen, THE THIRD FLOOR.  “We worked for several months to produce the creative and technical visualization for the episode, blocking shots, paths of action, greenscreen placements and dozens of dragon strafes in our full-scale lidar-based virtual environment.”

Previs Supervisor Michelle Blok summed up THE THIRD FLOOR’s Game of Thrones experience: “Bringing the worlds, creatures and characters to life — and in many cases death, on Game of Thrones, has required a monumental amount of imagination, innovation and collaboration… Our crew in previs, on-set supervision and virtual production is humbled and honored to have been a part of this journey.”



In a production first, the team on Season 8, Episode 5 used animated LED strips to provide the actor and stunt performers with a moving eyeline that accurately matched the motion of the CG dragon through its attack run on the Iron Fleet.  THE THIRD FLOOR team collaborated with the Spydercam crew to design and implement a custom solution using Arduinos and addressable LED strips.

THE THIRD FLOOR has received four Emmy Awards with the Game of Thrones visual effects team, recognizing work on memorable scenes like the Wildling Wall Attack (Season 4), Fighting Pit (Season 5), Battle of the Bastards (Season 6) and Frozen Lake Rescue (Season 7).  2019 Emmy VFX nominees for Game of Thrones are:

Game Of Thrones “The Bells”
HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; 360 Television/Startling Television

Joe Bauer, Lead Visual Effects Supervisor
Steve Kullback, Lead Visual Effects Producer
Adam Chazen, Visual Effects Associate Producer
Sam Conway, Special Effects Supervisor
Mohsen Mousavi, Visual Effects Supervisor
Martin Hill, Visual Effects Supervisor
Ted Rae, Visual Effects Plate Supervisor
Patrick Tiberius Gehlen, Previs Lead
Thomas Schelesny, Visual Effects and Animation Supervisor




Congratulations to our many colleagues on the show for nominations across multiple categories – from directing to cinematography, production design to stunt coordination and so much more!



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