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Cause+FX Creates Effects for Starz’ 'Spartacus'

Cause+FX creates effects for Spartacus’ final battle in Starz’ Spartacus: War of the Damned.

Auckland based VFX house Cause+FX have killed Spartacus in the final episode of the Starz hit TV show, Spartacus: War of the Damned.

The Cause+FX team, led by Paul Dickson and Greg Flannagan, struck the fatal blow, bringing together elements and compositing Spartacus’ final battle, as he is mortally wounded in a face-off with formidable Roman archenemy, Crassus.

Dickson and Flannagan, who were both a part of the New Zealand VFX team that brought Spartacus to life in the first series, delivered the dramatic 161-shot hilltop sequence.

Flannagan says it was a real privilege to contribute to such an ambitious and daring project.

“Paul and I have been involved in the show since season one, episode one, four or five years in all, and we have both felt heavily invested in it.  Cause+FX being trusted to deliver the ultimate sequence was huge.”

“The production required 13,355 VFX shots over a span of 39 episodes, across four epic seasons.  The Cause+FX team delivered over 1,000 shots for two of those seasons - Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned.”

Executive Visual Effects Supervisor, Charlie McClellan, said that with ambitious story lines, thousands of VFX shots and daunting schedules, having people the producers could rely on was a must.

“As a key vendor of Spartacus: War of the Damned, Cause+FX were entrusted with some of the most challenging and iconic shots the project had to offer.”

“Their understanding of our VFX pipelines, attention to detail and creative flair became critical factors in completing one of the biggest VFX TV shows ever created, to a very high standard.  Cause+FX delivered in spades.”

Spartacus Visual Effects Art Director, Peter Baustaedter, said the Cause+FX team delivered stunning results.

“CFX were motivated and quick on their feet, pro-active and artistically competent no matter what our production threw at them.”

“They took a no-surprises approach in resolving any issues that arose, and the jovial environment at the studio always made it easy to work with them, especially at crunch time.”

Dickson said it was rewarding to have been involved in such a successful venture and a spectacular finale.

“Spartacus has given us the opportunity to continue to demonstrate our creative capability and to show we can produce high quality results under pressure.”

“We had an awesome time with this project doing what we love.  We’re thrilled with the result.”

Spartacus: War of the Damned aired in the US earlier this year, with the final episode ‘Victory’ watched by 2.7 million people in May in its Starz Network premier screening and opening weekend.

‘Victory’ aired on Sky New Zealand’s The Box June 9.

Source: Cause+FX

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.