VFX studio created 400 VFX shots for eight-part drama

BlueBolt has revealed the VFX work it completed for Starz drama Becoming Elizabeth.

The eight-part series tells the story of a young Elizabeth Tudor (Alicia von Rittberg) at the time when her father dies and her pre-teen brother is crowned king. A power struggle ensues between various families and powerful individuals, as Elizabeth and her siblings find themselves being used as pawns in a dangerous game.

VFX supervisor Henry Badgett led the BlueBolt team, which created 400 VFX shots for the production. This included extensive 2D and 3D environments for different locations, various set extensions, FX work for fire and fireworks, blood and wound addition, and modern day clean up. 

Set extensions were required throughout the show to extend buildings and replace background objects. Crowds were enlarged, and the army encampment populated with extra tents, fires and people. Smoke and mist were added to make outdoor scenes more atmospheric, and warships were built from scratch and composited into sea plates.

In addition, the show includes many acts of grisly violence and a few execution scenes.. In one particularly gruesome sequence there is a close shot of a beheading at the Tower of London, for which BlueBolt artists added the axe-chop, wound opening, blood flow and blood spatter.

Elsewhere, there is a battle sequence that required blood splatter for a host of throat-slittings, and a scene in which a character is burned alive at the stake. BlueBolt created fire for the burning man, and also for a moment in which a river is set alight. The climactic scene ends with a fireworks display, also created by BlueBolt.

Filming took place from January 2021 to May 2021 at locations in the South West and Wales, Bottle Yard Studio in Bristol, National Trust Barrington Court in Somerset, Broughton Castle in Oxfordshire and Haddon Hall in Derbyshire with BlueBolt on set throughout the shoot.

Becoming Elizabeth is available to watch on Startz in the US and through the Starzplay channel on Prime Video in the UK.