Zoic Studios is a visual effects studio located in Vancouver’s Gastown. They employ approximately 250 people. Currently, they are working on the Once Upon A Time TV series. Andrew informed me of the incredible amount of work going into such a series.
For instance, there are seven days of prep before each episode, including story boarding and preparing the budget. From there it’s starting the work on the virtual sets. Lastly, there are three weeks of shooting per episode. Andrew tells me there are on average 300 shots per episode and on a high volume there are upwards of 700 shots.
Thanks go to a system called ZEUS (Zoic Environmental Unification System) — ZEUS is a proprietary technology and process of Zoic Studios that helps with pre-production, post production, onset tasks, visualization and the VR pipeline for all the environments on the show. They include castles, deep dark forests, caves, a virtual mountain, a virtual dungeon and a virtual NYC. The technique was developed on the TV series V. It’s gone through major upgrades since. Amongst the virtual beasts, they would include demons, ogres and flying dragons.
Andrew has been the visual effects supervisor since the pilot. There are also two other on set supervisors that make the show possible. Steve Jackson is the DP.
Five years running. Twenty-three to twenty-four episodes per season.