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How Golden Square Brought Napoleon And Elizabeth 1 Into The 21st Century


Disqo and Golden Sq create series of idents for Viasat History channel

How Golden Square Brought Napoleon And Elizabeth 1 Into The 21st Century

VFX specialists Golden Sq and its production arm Disqo have carried out the production and VFX on a series of unusual idents for Viasat History, as part of a multi-channel rebrand. The channel is shown across the Nordics, Central & Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Russia & CIS and Africa. The main focus is on European history, revealing the secrets of the past and how it defines us today.

With the strapline ‘Bringing History to Life,’ the idents feature different figures from famous paintings morphing into live action actors in modern day scenarios.

Harry Jarman, VFX Lead, Golden Sq; “After being approached about the idea, initially for Girl with a Pearl Earring, I thought I’d scour our office for anyone with a vague likeness. I got a couple of our staff to strike the pose from the painting, then compared these images to the painting. After this I found an appropriate location in the office, and filmed one of our Production Assistants posing, then looking to camera, as per the painting. From this footage, we produced test transitions to show proof of concept. This gave the client the confidence to pursue the idea."

By camera tracking 3D heads over the actor's faces, and then projecting the painted faces over the top, it allowed us to integrate the faces into the live action more effectively, ‘dimensionalising’ the painting. We manipulated the old paintings a fair amount, in particular adding matching eye movement, which was fun.”

‘Portrait of The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries’ by Jacques-Louis David, 181

‘Elizabeth 1 – The Darnley Portrait’ artist not known c1575

“Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Johannes Vermeer, 1665 

‘Portrait of A.S. Pushkin’ by Orest Kiprensky, 1827 


Golden Sq

VFX Lead: Harry Jarman

Producer: Anna MacDonald

Production Company: Disqo

Director: Danny Vaia

Executive Producer: Dominic Bunjevac

DOP: Nick Bennett

Casting Directors: Fruitcake

Stylist: Karen Smyth

Production Assistant: Will Newis

Playback: Andrew Spindle

Gaffer: Dean Brkic

Modern Times Group’s (MTG) Viasat Broadcasting

Creative Director: Simon Mitchell

Senior Producer: Paul Evans

Graphic Designer Simone Heineck

Editor: Paul Evans

Composer: Wayne Jones

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Genres: Visual VFX, People

Categories: Media and Entertainment, TV and Radio, Mon, 28 Apr 2014 13:57:23 GMT