The Gilded Age - VFX Breakdown by DNEG
The Gilded Age - VFX Breakdown by DNEG

The Gilded Age - VFX Breakdown by DNEG

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The Gilded Age - VFX Breakdown by DNEG

Check out this amazing & insightful VFX Breakdown "The Gilded Age" by the talented team at DNEG. For more information, please see the details and links below :


Michael Engler & Salli Richardson-Whitfield


Julian Fellowes & Sonja Warfield


Home Box Office (HBO), Universal Television


Home Box Office (HBO)


Becky Graham


Vicky Gillett

Marian Brook, a rural girl, moves to New York after her father's death. However, things get complicated when she must assimilate into the clan of a railroad tycoon.

The Gilded Age is Julian Fellowes’ American historical drama television series set during the boom years of the 1880s in New York City. The series centers around the conflict between new versus old money. The ‘new money’ Russell family moves in across the street from the van Rhijn-Brook family, who are part of the old-money establishment in New York City.

The Overall VFX Supervisor was Lesley Robson-Foster, with VFX Sup. and Designer Douglas Purver. Purver has worked with Robson-Foster for many years. Becky Graham was the visual effects supervisor at DNEG. In total the first season had over 1500 effects shots spread across nine episodes.

Filming of the series began in Newport, Rhode Island in February 2021, after a COVID delay. In April, filming moved to Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown, NY, and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. In May, filming continued in Troy, New York. To recreate the era, Troy’s central historic district had multiple city blocks transformed to resemble a Victorian-era street. “Our backlot for the main East 61st street was out on Long Island, near our gold coast stages,” explained Purver. A lot of work was required to extend the street up and back, but the sets were still very extensive and detailed. While some of the stories take place in Brooklyn, the city’s film restrictions on filming and the complexity of shutting down streets and covering them in sand and dirt meant that the production could not be filmed in Brooklyn.

As with many aspects of The Gilded Age, the team tried to film as much in-camera as possible. The production did “a lot of photography with the extras walking or crossing the street, etc”, commented Becky Graham. “This also included a bunch of carriages and horses, and variations: carriages with two horses, with a single horse, and then all different tradespeople, and their carriages, so we were able to keep the CG crowd replacement further in the background.”

On the set, there was a huge long container green screen wall. The team took two days to shoot a library of elements that there were then used as static or moving elements. While there was some night library footage shot, the team also regraded day-for-night on many of these background plate elements.

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The Gilded Age

The Gilded Age VFX

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