TRANSPORTING YOU BACK TO
1919 IN THE OPULENT PERA PALACE.
Cause and FX partnered with long-time collaborator and VFX Supervisor Tobias Wolters, VFX Producer Max Serges, and LA-Istanbul-based Karga Seven Pictures to contribute over 150 shots to Netflix’s acclaimed series, Midnight at the Pera Palace.
Inspired by the 2014 non-fiction book by Charles King, the series retells the story of Istanbul and the beginnings of modern Turkey through the lens of the opulent Pera Palace Hotel.
Young heroine Esra is a journalist writing a story about the hotel’s 130-year history. She meets hotel manager Ahmet who speaks as if he witnessed its colourful past first-hand. By chance, Esra discovers a secret in its Agatha Christie room and accidentally travels to 1920s Istanbul, disrupting the natural flow of history. She encounters some of Pera Palace’s most infamous guests and becomes embroiled in a political scandal. Together with Ahmet, Esra must find a way to stop the assassination of Mustafa Kemal and preserve the course of Turkey’s independence.
MIDNIGHT AT THE PERA PALACE
RECREATING THE CAPITAL
OF THE HISTORIC OTTOMAN EMPIRE.
“I think the most important detail for the show and a key objective of the VFX was to reconstruct the enchanting city of 1920s Istanbul, immersing the audience in a bygone era.”
Max Serges, VFX Producer
To help transport the setting back to the 1920s, Cause and FX augmented semi-built sets and live street shots, with careful attention to historical detail and photo-real accuracy.
Recreating the Turkish capital required Cause to develop a series of intricate matte paintings, CG set pieces, CG street extensions and environments to complement the footage. Existing period buildings were captured with observation scans, photogrammetry and lidar to aid their rebuilding in 3D. Cause also delivered 3D vehicles and sky replacements, and completed the final 2D compositing.
BUILDING THE BOSPHORUS PORT
“The visual effects contribution to setting the scene is essentially recreating the atmosphere, recreating that world… that’s the importance here. We wanted it to be seamless. Everyone watching the show should be enveloped by the world on screen. It’s not about showing anything off. It’s about blending in.”
Tobias Wolters, VFX Supervisor
VFX environments were vital in achieving the ambitious plan to bring this bygone era to life. Considerable research and care were taken to ensure the historical accuracy of architecture and design detail.
Midnight at the Pera Palace was an ideal opportunity for close collaboration with the international production team and photo-real worldbuilding – two capabilities that sit firmly in Cause’s wheelhouse.
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