Digital Arts: Cinesite picks up Emmy for VFX in Generation Kill

16 September 2009

Cinesite has won an Emmy Award for its VFX work on the HBO mini-seriesGeneration Kill, which was created by The Wire’s David Simon and Ed Burns. The award for Outstanding Achievement In Special Visual Effects for A TV Special Or Miniseries wasn’t a surprise for the post house as its were competing against its own work on Into The Storm and were therefore guaranteed a win.

This is Cinesite’s second Emmy award in the same category, having previously been awarded in 2005 for the HBO mini-series Rome.

Cinesite created all of the visual effects for Generation Kill, which was broadcast on HBO in Summer 2008, and on the FX channel in the UK earlier this year. It has been announced that Channel 4 acquired the UK rights to the series and it is likely to air on terrestrial television before the end of this year.

The seven episode series, based upon the successful book by Evan Wright, follows the First Marine Reconnaissance Battalion, at the spearhead of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. The action covers a one month period up to and including the fall of Baghdad, with the story being told at ground level, from the gritty and shocking perspective of the Marine unit traveling in a small convoy of Humvees. Wright was embedded with the platoon throughout the initial assaults on Iraq.

The production went to great efforts to achieve realism in every respect, filming as much action in camera as possible and using authentic military vehicles and equipment wherever possible. Cinesite worked closely with production military adviser Eric Kocher to enhance shots where this was not possible and to recreate the epic scale of battle digitally, on a massive scale.

Cinesite’s work included the creation of convoys of photorealistic CG military vehicles, missiles, burning oil fires, CG attack aircraft, the destruction of Iraqi cities as the Allies advance and realistically portraying the colossal resources of the American army. All of the visual effects are invisible, in no way detracting from the drama of the historic conflict being depicted.