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HomeBollywoodGary Goetzman Talks Producing 'Masters Of The Air' With Steven Spielberg

Gary Goetzman Talks Producing ‘Masters Of The Air’ With Steven Spielberg

Masters of the Air is the third World War II miniseries from Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, following Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Goetzman said Spielberg’s father had been pushing them to do the series about WWII pilots since their first.

“We had an obligation to Steven’s father,” Goetzman said at Contenders TV. “He was in the Army Air Force. He’d seen Band and The Pacific and say to Steven, ‘Those are great. When are you going to do the pilots? When are you going to do Europe? If we ever did another one that would be it.’ Then Don Miller’s book came along.”

Beyond Miller’s book, technological improvements made Masters of the Air feasible decades after Band of Brothers. Goetzman credited VFX supervisor Stephen Rosenbaum and the company DNEG. Director of Photography Jaq Fitzgerald said they filmed flying scenes in The Volume, ILM’s groundbreaking stage on which 360-degree LED screens enable any kind of scenery or background.

“We did it on a volume stage so we had the advantage of having eyelines working,” Fitzgerald said. “It was extremely helpful for us as creatives around them and also for [the actors].”

Supervising Sound Editor Jack Whitacker said he balanced authenticity with drama for the sound effects.

“This is a streaming project so we wanted to make this as big as possible for the small screen and really sell that drama and emotion, really do justice to the story of what these people went through,” Whitaker said

Composer Blake Neely added own artistic music to the proceedings. Neely said he avoided playing to the horror of war.

“I thought we should play tragedy,” Neely said. “It’s just tragic. These boys just wanted to go home so there’s always this pull back emotionally to send them home, get this job done. The challenge was to do it differently than we did on The Pacific. That felt more like slogging, dredging through the mud. This was more heroic for me to score.”

Some of Masters of the Air’s tragedies were on the ground, depicting a concentration camp as well as a train transporting Jews to the camps.

“Most of those people are people who are really talented at moving their arms and legs around, whether from ballet or from a troupe,” Goetzman said of the train scene. “It’s just tough. You’re worrying more about those people in that situation. It’s cold.”

Masters of the Air stars Austin Butler, Barry Keoghan, Callum Turner and more. Goetzman said Butler was cast before he began Elvis. Geotzman credited casting director Lucy Blevins for finding him.

“She had groupings pretty much for every part — how she saw them. A lot of jigsaw puzzling went around,” Goetzman said. “There are 325 speaking parts but there were 10 that were really key to who we got and how we did it.”

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