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VFX SUP & COMP

SHAKA ILEMBE: SEASON 1

Visual Effects Supervisor and Senior Comp Artist: Nuke, Fusion & Resolve

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VFX Supervisor & Compositor

Disclaimer: The breakdown shots in the sequences showcased above were composited by me. Numerous artists contributed at various stages and some shots in the sequences were completed by or alongside my team, specifically Isable Heyneke and Gerhard Painter. As VFX Supervisor, I consider myself merely the conductor of an incredible orchestra. Refer to the credits in the description of each video or click here for the complete credit list.

INFO

From February 2021 to August 2023, I had the privilege of serving as the Visual Effects Supervisor for Luma on Season 1 of "Shaka iLembe," a 12-episode historical drama produced by The Bomb Productions for Mnet Mzanzi. 

 

Under the visionary leadership of Emmy award-winning Executive Director Angus Gibson, Directors Zeno Pieterson and Adze Ugah, and Executive Producer Desiree Markgraaff, the series delves into the late 1700s, recounting the compelling rise of the legendary Zulu king, Shaka.

 

Set against the authentic backdrop of Africa and skillfully narrated by Africans for Africa, "Shaka iLembe" quickly made history as the largest South African TV show in prime time, captivating over 3.6 million viewers—a record-breaking achievement for a drama series for the broadcaster.

 

The series features an exceptional cast, including actress and Executive Producer Nomzamo Mbatha, Lemogang Tsipa, Senzo Radebe, Dawn Thandeka King, Wiseman Mncube, Khabonina Qubeka, Mondli Makhoba, and Ntando Zondi as the young Shaka.

 

As VFX Supervisor, I devoted over 100 days on set, meticulously overseeing all elements of the visual effects shots. Supported by two of Luma's on-set data wranglers, enabled me to concentrate on every aspect  of creative and technical thinking. From majestic mountain tops to hidden underground caves, cascading waterfalls, and the stunning coastlines of South Africa, we ensured attention to detail throughout.

Subsequently, an intensive 12-month postproduction process unfolded at Luma Studio in Johannesburg.

 

Working alongside Senior Producer Ancilla Berry and Lead VFX Artist Werner Ziemerink, our team of 40 3D, concept, animation and compositing artists, producers and pipeline engineers, notably Craig Portnoy, Louren Hattingh, and Nivishaa Reddy, (who brought the hyenas to life). Mark Zimmer and Aaliya Moola on look development and simulation, while industry veterans Gavin Hong and Isable Heyneke and myself headed up the compositing team, supported by Luma execs Paul Mayer and Gerhard Painter, ensured the project's success.

 

Together, we delivered close to 770 VFX shots, featuring creature effects, vicious animal attacks, brutal battle sequences, and epic establishing shots of the Paramountcies or "citadels."

 

A review hailed "Shaka iLembe" as a "premium tour-de-force television series," praising its meticulous attention to detail, immersive method acting, beautiful cinematography, seamlessly integrated special effects, and judicious editing.

 

Acknowledging the collaborative effort, I must emphasize that a production of this magnitude takes a small army. I am immensely proud of what we achieved, but the credit belongs to the incredible artists, both in front of and behind the scenes, who dedicated themselves to making this extraordinary project a reality. To everyone involved, thank you for your hard work, unwavering dedication and craft, demonstrated every day and in every frame.

VFX Sup

Visual Effects Supervisor and Contributing Comp Artist

Disclaimer: The sequences above were not exclusively composited by me. While I actively contributed to the compositing of the battle sequence, night shot, and the marching army, my primary role was as the VFX Supervisor. I oversaw the shooting and post-production processes, which were then executed by the talented Luma Team. Special recognition to Isable Heyneke and Gerhard Painter for their work on the hyenas and fire (both created by Werner Ziemerink), Gavin Hong and team for the battle sequence, and Kayla Bubb for the Paramountcy. 

Refer to the credits in the description of each video or click here for the complete credit list.

WATCH

TRAILERS

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PRESS

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