On The Crown's ‘invisible’ visual effects and the making of good trailers

The cast of The Crown on the balcony at Buckingham Palace

RTS London heard how the visual effects were created for The Crown over six series of the landmark Netflix drama – everything from recreating Buckingham Palace to real-life incidents such as the death of Princess Diana in Paris, the Aberfan disaster and the fire at Windsor Castle.

“[As] a historical drama, there are things that we have to… recreate, so we needed visual effects to be able to bring those stories to life,” explained Reece Ewing, VFX (visual effects) producer and post-production supervisor, who joined the drama in series three.

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Emma Kolasinska, an executive producer at Moonraker VFX who recently worked on Netflix wildlife series Night on Earth, started out as a receptionist at an editing facility, before moving into producing. The key to getting on, she said, is “working hard, not pretending to know everything but finding out quite quickly”.

Junior compositor Michael Vodden said: “Take opportunities and run with them – you never know where [they will lead]… a job can come out of everywhere.”

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(Credit: Phil Lewis)

“It’s a growth industry – there should be lots of jobs to go around,” argued Louise Hastings, VFX producer at Milk Visual Effects, whose credits include BBC One’s Doctor Who and ITV historical drama Victoria.

“Netflix and Amazon are creating more and more content with bigger and bigger budgets – we can’t keep up with the amount of work we’re asked to bid for at the moment,” she continued.

“TV is going to keep Soho very busy. We’re also getting a lot of the American films [shooting] at [Warner Bros, Studios] Leavesden, like Fantastic Beasts.”