fxpodcast #365 Masters of the Air

VFX supervisor, Stephen Rosenbaum ( R.VIGLASKY Photo)

This is a special fxpodcast; not only do we get to discuss the brilliant new Apple+ series Masters of the Air with the series VFX supervisor, Stephen Rosenbaum, but this is fxguide’s Mike Seymour’s 1000th podcast.

Stephen was the production visual effects supervisor on Masters of the Air. The nine-episode series reunited the award-winning team of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman, who previously produced Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

Stephen has had an incredible career with credits including Avatar, Kong: Skull Island, Contact, Forrest Gump, and many more.  He is a multiple Oscar winner, a good friend of fxguide, and someone we shamefully have never had on the fxpodcast – until now. We could not think of a better guest for this special fxpodcast…enjoy.

Masters of the Air follows the true story of an American 100th Bomb Group based in England (the “Bloody Hundredth”) during the Second World War.  The series features a stellar cast led by Academy Award-nominee Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Nate Mann, Rafferty Law, Academy Award-nominee Barry Keoghan, Josiah Cross, Branden Cook, and Ncuti Gatwa.

Masters of the Air is Apple TV+’s most-watched series launch ever; it launched with more viewers in its opening weekend than any Apple TV+ series ever has, placing it flying above other high-profile original titles like Hijack, The Morning Show, and Severance. Apple + has maintained double-digit growth across more than 100 territories. Masters of the Air is currently debuting new episodes, with its sixth installment premiering this week and the finale airing on March 15th.

“Masters of the Air is a salute to the brave men of the 8th Air Force, who, through their courage and brotherhood, helped defeat Nazi Germany in World War II,” said executive producer Gary Goetzman. “Tom and Steven have always wanted to visualise cinematically what our author Don Miller has called, this ‘singular event in the history of warfare.”

The film is based on Donald L. Miller’s book and scripted by John Orloff. Masters of the Air follows the men of the 100th Bomb Group as they conduct perilous bombing raids over Germany and grapple with the harsh conditions, lack of oxygen, and sheer terror of combat conducted at 25,000 feet precision daylight bombing. As Stephen discusses in the podcast, the sheer speed and complexity of the air battles would be unbelievable if it were not a true and faithful recreation of what actually happened.

Portraying the psychological and emotional price paid by these young men as they helped destroy the horror of Hitler’s Third Reich, is at the heart of Masters of the Air. Some were shot down and captured; some were wounded or killed. And some were lucky enough to make it home.

Ranging in location from the ‘green and pleasant lands’ and villages of southeast England, to the harsh reality of a German Prisoner of War Camp, and depicting a unique and crucial time in world history, Masters of the Air is enormous in both scale and scope.


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