Emmys: Phosphene nominated for 'Mildred Pierce' VFX
July 20, 2011

Emmys: Phosphene nominated for 'Mildred Pierce' VFX

NEW YORK — Phosphene’s (www.phosphenefx.com)visual effects work for the five-part HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce has been recognized with an Emmy nomination. The nomination comes in the “Outstanding Special Visual Effects For a Mini-series, Movie or a Special - 2011” category.

Mildred Pierce stars Kate Winslet as a proud single mother who struggles to earn her daughter’s love during the Great Depression in middle-class Los Angeles. Phosphene’s work on the series included elaborate set extensions and much smaller detail work. The nomination is shared among VFX supervisor John Bair; VFX producer Renuka Ballal; CGI artist Nathan Meier; compositors Constance Conrad, Marci Ichimura, Josephine Noh, Aaron Raff and Scott Winston; and independent VFX supervisor Lesley Robson-Foster.

According to Bair, much of the series’ challenges stemmed from making New York, where the series was shot, look like Los Angeles in the 1930s and ‘40s. 

“For one lengthy scene, shot against black, we created an industrial landscape to represent the area just outside of Los Angeles, including the rolling hills of southern California, with oil derricks and pump jacks churning in the background, notes Bair. “For another, which ostensibly takes place in the LA Philharmonic, the footage, shot in New York, had to be completely reworked. We changed the landscape to suggest Hollywood during the depression era, adding lights in the sky, palm trees and mountains behind some of the shots, and the buildings of Los Angeles in the background.” 

Phosphene used Nuke, 3DS Max and After Effects CS5 to handle the work, along with PCs running Windows 7.