Elizabeth Debicki, playing Princess Diana looking down as paparazzi take photos

The Crown Season 6

Framestore delivers exceptionally detailed iconic scenes and buildings that evoke strong memories of a poignant time in a visual feast of a farewell to The Crown for the finale of Netflix’s renowned series.

Visual Effects Supervisor
A still from season six of Netflix show 'The Crown' showing Prince Charles and young Princes William and Harry

Collaborating with Framestore over the last four series of The Crown has been a wonderful experience. The work has always been of the highest quality (as you’d expect with Framestore), but the most rewarding aspect has been how well we’ve collaborated.
Elizabeth Debicki, playing Princess Diana behind the scenes against a green screen
Elizabeth Debicki, playing Princess Diana final shot

Continuing where it left off, this final season is broken into two parts. Initially the focus is on Princess Diana before the lens gets pulled towards her two young sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Having worked on four seasons of The Crown, the team led by Framestore’s VFX Supervisor Ollie Bersey, set about enhancing and crafting the environments, buildings and scenery present in the series that are recognised the world over. Lots of the work this time consisted of continuing with existing assets and embellishing them where necessary in pursuit of ensuring the team maintained perfectly hidden VFX.

Two women walking down a wide park path
Two women walking down a wide park path

One of the biggest undertakings were the complex Whistler ski resort shots. This involved a staggering amount of detail to achieve the level of clarity needed on screen. To accomplish this, Framestore's artists created a full CG environment with DMP embellishments including landscape, CG trees and a CG chairlift. To add further depth, a DMP building, and mountain environments were crafted.

“Finding the right balance of the visible detail in the snow, which is featureless by its very nature, is incredibly challenging,” said Ollie Bersey. “On top of this, the sheer number of different assets involved made it one of the most, if not the most complicated shots of the series.”

Actors playing young King Charles, Prince William and Harry riding a ski lift, behind the scenes
Actors playing young King Charles, Prince William and Harry riding a ski lift, final shot

Another challenge came from creating the Piccadilly Circus sequence. Originally shot in a square in Hull, this work required a fully CG environment to be created which was based entirely on archive photography.

“We got hold of as many photographs as we could possibly find of Piccadilly Circus on and around VE night and also photographed the exact area ourselves,” said Ollie Bersey. “Although the film crew shot a lot of extras on location, the crowd needed serious augmentation to reach the scale required to bring it to life, so as with many sequences during this series, we deployed our particle based crowd system in nuke to deliver dense crowds using sprites elements shot for the sequences.”

Wide shot of the exterior of the ritz hotel, with a green screen in the distance. Behind the scenes.
Wide shot of the exterior of the ritz hotel, final shot

An additional important chunk of work was the team’s full CG build of the Ritz Paris and CG Place Vendôme environment. Building on the last series, where they focused solely on the hotel, this year we augmented these assets to create the full square, complimenting with CG traffic and crowds.

“We were looking to make these scenes feel chaotic and claustrophobic and instill a sense of the intensity of the world Princess Diana lived in in those final months,” said Ollie Bersey. “It was emotive and slightly surreal to be taken back and recognize those images in the news from all those years ago – you really had a sense of what that felt like all over again.”

Elizabeth Debicki, playing Princess Diana walking towards paparazzi, with a green screen in the background, behind the screens
Elizabeth Debicki, playing Princess Diana walking towards paparazzi, with a green screen in the background, final shot

To visualise the digital set extension of the environment surrounding, the team worked with Framestore’s Pre-production Services team (FPS) team who used Framestore's proprietary Virtual Production ecosystem Farsight on set.

“The production seamlessly integrated existing 3D data from the previous season as a foundational starting point, which was extended based on detailed reference scans of the actual location”. Commented Rob Taheij, Virtual Production TD.

Leveraging the unique characteristics of the environment, the team efficiently constructed the majority of the square and its structures, streamlining the data integration into Farsight Go – an iPad application that uses augmented reality to overlay virtual content onto any shooting location.

Gates of Buckingham Palace set and green screens. Behind the scenes of The Crown season 6
Gates of Buckingham Palace, final shot of The Crown season 6
Sharing the process of creative thinking and problem solving, as well as knowing that we would overcome technical challenges together was a huge comfort.

The virtual environment underwent adjustments after an initial set visit, due to specifics and limits of the physical construction area of the set. This ensured proper alignment between the physically scanned environment and the constructed set, alongside other Farsight Go requirements that the client was looking for during filming.

With distinct Day and Night versions, Farsight Go played a unique role during filming, guiding shot framing, crowd movement for post-production extensions, and strategically placing additional practical lighting. This comprehensive utilisation of Farsight Go not only expedited the production process but also contributed to a seamless fusion of real and virtual elements, enhancing the overall visual authenticity of the project.

Behind the scenes of Diana's funeral, The Crown season 6
Final shot of Diana's funeral, The Crown season 6

Working on the success of seasons 4 and 5, there were many shots of Buckingham Palace which had an environment upgrade to include the Queen Victoria monument. Framestore were also delighted to work again with their CG stag for a handful of shots and there was plenty of airfield environment work covering Stansted, Sarajevo, Le Bourget and even the island of Mustique. Crowds were added to Tony Blair's WI speech at Wembley as well as to the environment work around Buckingham Palace at the Iraq war protests.

“One thing we've always found on The Crown is that every pixel is visible and once you get to the grade everything is super bright and glorious – there is no hiding and standards are very high so it's a really challenging project in terms of the level of finish required,” added Ollie Bersey. “I’m genuinely sad we’ve reached the finale because it has always been a dream project for me and a real career highlight.”

I was always totally confident that our sequences would be approached with care, artistry and professionalism. The work is beautiful and represents some of the proudest moments of my career. I will miss the show and our Framestore team hugely

The Crown is now streaming on Netflix.


Overall VFX Supervisor
Ben Turner
VFX Producer
Reece Ewing
VFX Supervisor
Ollie Bersey
VFX Producer
Julia Stannnard
VFX Line Producer
Mia Price
VFX Coordinator
Danielle Temple
2D Supervisor
Ben Taylor
CG Supervisor
Ed Mykolaitis
Executive Producer, Episodic
Julie Long
Creative Director, Episodic
John Kilshaw
Head of Production
Stephen Nixon
Virtual Production TD
Rob Taheij