VFX specialists Carse and Waterman make Ant and Dec plus a host of stars “explode” on prime time TV

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Have you ever felt like blowing up a prime time TV star?

That’s exactly what Stoke-on-Trent’s Visual Effects team Carse and Waterman were asked to do by the production team on the Ant and Dec Saturday Night Takeaway show.

Viewers of last Saturdays popular Saturday Night Takeaway watched as Ant, Jermaine Jenas, Alison Hammond and Stephen Mulhern were “victims” of the VFX gag .

“No TV personalities were harmed in the making of the show,” said Visual Effects Supervisor and company owner Daniel Waterman. “One of the gags in the programme involves blowing up the main characters and we were delighted to be asked to find a way to use visual effects to create that illusion.

“We’ve worked with the shows VFX Supervisor, Lee Watson, for several years and he came to Carse and Waterman to create the exploding cast spectaculars.”

VFX is the integration of live action footage and CG elements to create realistic imagery. Dan said that even he hadn’t seen the final edit and would be tuning in on Saturday evening to see the finished product.

Based in Stoke town centre, Carse and Waterman have completed many TV spectaculars in recent years and also make animated films for businesses, the health sector and charities. The company was founded by Gary Carse and Daniel Waterman, former film students at Staffordshire University.

Daniel said: “While our work is often for companies to be used for marketing purposes, we’ve completed TV projects for programmes including Inside Number 9, the Keith and Paddy Picture Show and There’s Something About Movies.

“Working on prime time TV shows such as Saturday Night Takeaway gives our team a real thrill but also means much more to Gary and me. as we are always keen to champion the film and animation skills available in Stoke-on-Trent. There’s a real buzz around filmmaking in the Potteries as Staffordshire University produces a stream of talented film students.

“We’re among a host of film makers who came to Stoke-on-Trent to learn our trade and stayed here. This has led to a creative arts sector blossoming in North Staffordshire and it has got a growing reputation across the UK.

“Geography is no longer a barrier to success and there’s no need to be based in South East England. We want more creative companies to come and join us in the Potteries where they will find their money goes further.”

Promoting creativity in Stoke-on-Trent led to Carse and Waterman to make a bold move in 2020. The animators took on the large former NatWest Bank premises in Campbell Place, Stoke, developing their own offices and studios, plus community facilities for young animators and digital creatives.

One floor of the building is a creative hub run as a not for profit company called Framescape.

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