"You can't make a classic without pulling a few strings."
Based on the never-revealed experiences of Oscar-winning producer Albert. S Ruddy’s journey through the creation of Coppola’s New York City gangster classic, ‘The Godfather’, The Offer is a ten-part miniseries on Paramount+.
Outpost delivered a variety of key sequences for this miniseries consisting of CG environment work, DMP, crowd simulation and more. VFX Producer on the show, Matt Knight, explains: “Our team’s work consisted mainly of re-creating historically accurate environments of New York City from the 1970s when The Godfather was made.
“With three key assets needed for the ten-part episodic including Fifth Avenue, Columbus Circle and Mulberry Street & Grand, the team was busy de-modernising the plate environments shot in Los Angeles during March. As well as this, we were using 2D and 3D VFX elements to recreate these living New York environments with accurate time period details.
“Our client was very patient, and we had a great relationship with them. We felt they trusted us with their vision which was very much appreciated on our part. It was also great that they were very receptive to our creative direction. Overall, it was a great, trusting relationship on both sides and wonderful to collaborate on this exciting prestige drama.”
VFX Supervisor, Cale Pugh, is quick to highlight the importance of delivering historically accurate environment work for this project. “All of us working on The Offer were conscious what we were doing and what it meant to the fans of the movie, as well as being fans of the movies ourselves,” he explains.
“The approach to all the environments for this show was to use accurate historical reference to answer any questions we had around how to construct these hero architecture assets. We would directly research what New York City in the 70’s looked like and made it as real as possible.
“The photography for The Offer was shot on anamorphic lens which gave it a nice, cinematic finish and our team knew when the plates came in just how high quality this project is. It only made us even more enthusiastic to bring those shots to life and do the project justice.”
Pugh goes into more detail on the approach he and the team took towards creating environments for The Offer that were also featured in The Godfather film. “When we began rebuilding environments that were featured in The Godfather film, for instance, with the Fifth Avenue set featuring the Best&Co Department Store, it was easy enough to get references from the original movie. However, this meant we had to take into consideration that these assets needed to be built within the time period of the 1950s which Coppola’s classic was based in.
“Our team built every environment for The Offer in CG, which was then textured, look dev rendered with DMP on top and DMP Projections. Overall, we built five blocks of New York; The Rockefeller Centre, Cartier Building, The Marble Twins, Saks Fifth Avenue, and St. Patrick’s Church.”
“Beyond those blocks, we created classic New York architecture to extend the environments around these hero buildings making sure it looked as accurate to the time period as possible. Once we completed building, the next task was adding in set dressing like the snow, the cars, crowds, bunting, while always drawing from our research to give an authentic 70s feel as well as incorporating the 50s.
“Our client side VFX Supervisor, John shot a lot of nice elements for us to utilise to produce the best work we could, especially when it came to creating crowds. Having shots of individual people in front a blue screen allowed us to create a crowd of hundreds of people with plenty of variation
“We had a great relationship with the clients for The Offer; they knew we understood the project early on with what their vision was, and they fed off our passion for this series.”
All episodes of The Offer have been released on Paramount+.