Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

Gaither and UT alum nominated for an Emmy

Spoiler alert: season two of the Amazon Studios series The Man in the High Castle did not win a 2017 Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.

That was learned last weekend during the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony held a week prior to tonight's Primetime Emmy Awards that will announce live the winners of mainstream awards like outstanding lead actor and series.

Winners of the Creative Arts categories that Outstanding Special Visual Effects fall under will scroll down the screen at some point during tonight's broadcast that starts at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Still, for Tampa native David Andrade, co-founder of the Orlando-based company Theory Studios, which created The Man in the High Castle effects that contended for an Emmy, it is not hyperbole that just being nominated was an honor.

"Did I want to win?" said Andrade, 32 and a graduate of Gaither High School in 2003 and the University of Tampa in 2007, "Of course. But it is amazing this even happened. We're a little company. Look at the other shows nominated."

The winner of the Outstanding Special Effects Emmy was HBO's Westworld.

The Man in the High Castle story occurs in a reality where the Axis Powers won World War II and divided the United States into the Greater Nazi Reich and the Japanese Pacific States.

Highlights of Theory Studios' work on the show's second season include designing the Volkshalle, a massive domed building planned by Adolf Hitler to be built in Berlin that was never erected due to Germany losing the war.

But in this alternative reality, the Volkshalle exists.

"That was a really big project," said Andrade, whose company worked in conjunction with Barnstorm VFXout of Burbank, Cali.

"We created the dome, all the lighting, the banners and helped create digital doubles in the crowd."

Theory Studios was born in 2008 after Andrade and partners Juerg Grieder from Fort Lauderdale and Mark Olson from Calgary met through an online animation school and decided to found a special effects company that would have a bricks and mortar headquarters yet employ virtually.

Among Theory Studios' 15 employees is 22-year-old CG artist Michael Richardson, also a University of Tampa graduate.

"David wanted to grow a company with talent from all over the world," said Richardson, who resides in his native Virginia. "We have coders in Germany, artists in the UK, Canada, Argentina, Australia."

Theory Studios also has worked on the CBS series The Good Wife and HBO's Silicon Valley, is signed on for season three of The Man in the High Castle, and just finished creating city backdrops for Sesame Street.

"Don't worry, the puppets are still real," he said with a chuckle.

And Theory Studios co-founder Andrade said to expect another major project to be announced around Christmas.

"We didn't win this year," Andrade said. "But we'll keep growing."

Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

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