By Charlotte Willis
Angelo Sahin has done Australia proud after adding an Emmy award to his trophy cabinet.
The Melbourne-based Special Effects technician was victorious at last month’s 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards, winning for his “Outstanding Special Visual Effects” work for Steven Spielberg mini-series The Pacific.
Sahin, who was On Set Visual Effects Supervisor/Senior SFX technician, was recognised for his – along with eight others, all from overseas – work in part five of the 10-part series – for the “beach-landing scene”.
Produced by Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, The Pacific cleaned up at the Emmy’s, being nominated for 23 awards and coming away from the night with a total of eight.
The $US150 million-plus miniseries took on average 10 days of filming per episode and is the largest war sequence Sahin has ever done.
He described an average day on-set as “very intense”, filming for 10 hours each day – the most difficult thing, he said, being the sheer logistics of filming on such a huge scale.
“It’s up to us to plan how we coordinate the gag from start to finish,” Sahin told INSIDEFILM.
“We have to be extremely well organised. We’re using high explosives, so things like making sure distances are safe for the crew and the timing of explosives is essential.
“It took us around two hours to shoot one scene and we’d do around 30 setups each day. They had for us a constant on-the-go café so we didn’t have to break for food.”
Sahin worked on-set with a team of 30 people dedicated to the physical effects and another 30 in the workshop, preparing everything from smoke devices to car-flipping rigs.
“You always have a team working ahead of you, it’s a very well-oiled machine,” he said.
Working “in the field” – alongside up to 300 people on-set – Sahin was certainly right at home.
“It was up to me to give them the realism. The bullet hits, the dust, the dirt, the changing sky colour; I was literally chasing the wind and changing the smoke to fit… I had a very hands-on role”, he said.
Sahin said in terms of money dumped into the economy during filming – which lasted for eight months – Melbourne had “never seen anything like it before”.
Filming also took place at various locations in and around Port Douglas, Queensland, and parts of rural and suburban Victoria, where mountains were moved – quite literally – in the making of The Pacific.
Sahin described the extreme lengths of filming preparation, even creating man-made lakes up in Port Douglas in an effort to recreate the environment surrounding the Asia-Pacific War.
The Pacific is said to be the most expensive television production ever made in Australia and an estimated 4000 jobs were created while generating about $180 million for the Australian economy.
Having recently finished work on Clive Owen action-thriller The Killer Elite, directed by Gary McKendry and set to be released in 2011, Sahin said that he had no plans for another project at the moment.
Sahin attended the Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards night in February this year for his work with The Knowing, but however lost to Avatar.
Angelo Sahin (left) with British SFX supervisor Joss Williams