PRODUC T I ON . VIGIL
first 20 minutes, we see our hero DCI Silva in a helicopter being winched down onto the submarine – our setting for the series,” explains Gray. “For the whole show, we challenged ourselves to do as much in camera as possible. Bringing on three post-production companies (Blazing Griffin, Goodbye Kansas and Savalas) as partners early in the process was crucial. For Amy’s journey to the sub, we shot ship-to-ship plates of the helicopter, then added the extra elements of her on the winch and the conning tower, which were all seamlessly blended together.” Real ballistic missile submarines are swathed in secrecy, and civvies are generally forbidden from tours of their interiors. The design, therefore, had to be constructed from a mix of former submariners’ memories and scouring the internet for similar vessels. While HMS Vigil did require some VFX, it was mostly the handiwork of Tom Sayer – a talented production designer who worked and reworked the set to ensure the cinematography could be as dynamic and gripping as the story itself.
A SENSE OF SCALE The crew played with space to moderate the intensity. From the confines of the submarine (top left), to the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean (above), anamorphic and spherical lenses created the right atmosphere
“We wanted the camera to be constantly moving and flowing through the environment – never letting it get too static”
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