CoSA VFX Creates Gotham for Warner Bros. and Fox

CoSA VFX Creates Gotham for Warner Bros. and Fox

North Hollywood, CA (23. September 2014) - Gotham EP Danny Cannon and Warner Bros SVP Mark Petulla tapped CoSA VFX to oversee visual effects for the upcoming live action series, set in the eponymous city of DC Comics’ Batman franchise.

In the pilot episode, greenhorn police officer James Gordon – later to become Commissioner Gordon – tangles with Gotham’s criminal underworld in his search for a murderer. “The show has a gritty, realistic feel,” explains CoSA’s Tom Mahoney, the show’s VFX Supervisor. “The heroes and villains haven’t yet attained the mythic status of the Batman movies. We had to create a Gotham City that lives up to fans’ expectations, while still being a completely believable setting for the story.”

An aerial unit shoot of New York City provided dynamic background plates for CoSA’s Gotham City digimatte work. Drawing on director / EP Danny Cannon’s evocative sketches of Gotham-esque building designs, CoSA’s matte painters and environment team created the distinctive architecture and atmosphere of the fictional city. “It’s a blend of neo-Gothic, art deco and beaux arts elements,” says Mahoney. “Danny’s sketches were a great shorthand for understanding what he was after.” CoSA’s artists were able to nail down the look in early tests, including a helicopter shot of the city used for a show-and-tell with the studio.

CoSA supplied full-service VFX production for Gotham, from concept through final delivery. Onset Supervision took place in New York, with shot production split between CoSA’s Los Angeles and Vancouver facilities. This allowed the production to benefit from tax incentives in Vancouver, while also having immediate access to CoSA’s supervisors and production team in LA. “Being able to collaborate face-to-face with supervisors and artists is particularly important to our TV clients,” reports CoSA’s Executive Producer Joseph Bell. “There’s no time for any gaps in communication on a TV schedule.” CoSA’s North Hollywood headquarters are a few minutes’ drive from the Warner Bros, Universal and Disney studio lots.

In addition to aerial views of Gotham City, VFX work for the pilot included numerous set extensions and sky replacements. “Danny wanted it to look like there’s always a storm brewing over Gotham,” recalls Tom Mahoney. CoSA also created high-resolution artwork for a 124 foot by 28 foot backing that was hung outside the windows of the set for Barbara’s penthouse apartment. “Gotham could not have been a better fit for CoSA,” says Mahoney. “Matte painting and environment work have always been specialties of ours, and it was hugely satisfying to collaborate with a show that allowed us to go to the next level.”