Falcón, 4 x 1 hours Spanish crime series based on novels by Robert Wilson, written by Stephen Butchard and Sarah Phelps.

Old fashioned scrum down pitching for Falcón back in the Spring. Fabulous feeling for us to have won the job. A real honour as it is such an important project for Sky Atlantic channel still in its infancy, and this, its second commission.

The first story adapted is The Blind Man of Seville, which follows Falcón‘s investigation into a brutal killing which stirs long forgotten memories.  As Falcón investigates the crime, and finds himself drawn to the widow of the victim, he discovers the secret truth about his artist father’s violent history in Tangier and the Spanish Civil War.

The second story  adapted is The Silent and the Damned, in which a double suicide takes Falcón to an exclusive area of Seville where wealthy neighbours keep their secrets well hidden and there’s more in the freezer than just food.

Gary’s work in the bullring on a recent global Mercedes campaign didn’t do us any harm in securing the bid as there were to be extensive shots centred around a bullfight. The conundrum in this instance was that production could shoot a real bullfight with crowd but no special access; they could shoot in an empty stadium with a small crowd but without bullfight or knowing what the real bullfight stadium looked like because it wasn’t known; and a green-screen shoot of our actor mimicking moves of the matador from selected takes of the real bullfight…. and breathe!

It was such a hard sequence to plan and supervise that there was a certain amount of suck it and see what need be done as the edit took shape whilst grabbing as many relevant plates as could be imagined along the way. When one watches the 2 minute sequence it’s incredible to think that virtually each shot cut back to back employs one of 4 techniques to achieve it.

The rest of Falcón, had a wealth of vfx across them. It has to be said it was one of the most gory series we’ve worked on and we’ve done a lot right from the beginning in 2005. Please spare a thought for a minute for the poor researchers and artists that have to study these things to see what they look like in real life!

Falcón aired in Australia in early December and the UK just before Christmas.

Mammoth Screen
Director: Pete Travis
Producer: Julia Stannard

VFX Artists: Gary Brown, Fabio Vona, Chris Bristow, Pavan Kumar, Pragti Wadhwa, Zissis Papatzikis.
Producer: Samantha Banack