his dark materials

Working Lives: Visual effects supervisor

His Dark Materials (Credit: BBC)

By trade, he is a VFX supervisor, but is also creative director of television at the visual effects and animation studio Framestore.

What do you do as a VFX supervisor?

I’m responsible for all the visual effects in a show, which comes down to two main things: helping the production get the best creative use of their money on screen; and, during filming, ensuring the correct material is acquired to allow all the brilliant VFX artists to do their job.

When are you brought on board a production?

BBC One releases first trailer for series two of His Dark Materials

Dafne Keen (Credit: BBC)

Based on the fantasy novels by Phillip Pullman, the second series of His Dark Materials introduces viewers to the magical city of Cittàgazze.

Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) has opened a path into a brand-new world and Lyra (Dafne Keen) decides to join him, desperate for a distraction from the overwhelming grief over the death of her best friend.

Once Lyra starts exploring this new abandoned city, she meets Will (Amir Wilson), a boy running from his troubled past and separated from his father.

His Dark Materials creators discuss the creative collaboration behind the series

Everyone who has ever worked in television knows that one of the essential qualities required to produce outstanding TV is the ability to collaborate.

At an RTS discussion, held in early December with key members of the production team of BBC One’s ambitious His Dark Materials, the extent to which different groups worked together to complete the series was made abundantly clear.

His Dark Materials creators discuss why collaboration was the foundation of the series

Jack Thorne, Dan McCulloch, Joel Collins, Jane Tranter and Russell Dodgson (Credit: Phil Lewis)

That was the main takeaway from an RTS question and answer session following an exclusive screening of the final episode of season one.

All five panellists emphasised how working as a team was fundamental to the show, described by one reviewer as “a riveting realisation” of Pullman’s world.

“We did a lot of talking. It’s not me alone at my desk but a lot of people working together,” explained Jack Thorne who wrote the script for His Dark Materials.

Jack Thorne on screenwriting, fatherhood and His Dark Materials

Iorek Byrnison (Joe Tandberg) and Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) (Credit: BBC/Bad Wolf/HBO)

‘Rachel doesn’t let me cycle,” laughs writer Jack Thorne as I am leaving his north London home following our interview. Rachel is his wife, a comedy agent and keen cyclist herself, who laughs back: “Yes, he’d just be cycling along and have a script idea and that would be that.”