Docere Palace Studios produced "Wings of Madness," an award-winning, hour long documentary broadcast on the PBS NOVA series last November and now in international distribution. Produced at Palace Digital Studios, the production won the top 2007 Telly award for documentary TV programs and the Platinum-Best of Show Aurora Award for documentary/biography.
The program tells the story of Brazilian-born aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, the spiritual father of aviation. In the early 1900s, Santos built and flew the first practical dirigibles and was the first to fly an airplane in Europe. Docere Palace Studios is a co-venture of Palace Production Center and Docere Digital Studios.
The documentary, shot and edited in high definition, blends rare archival footage of Santos-Dumont's original flights with elaborately costumed and staged re-enactment footage shot by Palace production teams on location in France and Brazil. Extensive CGI is masterfully composited with the live action HD footage shot in France to create the “you are there” experience of watching Santos-Dumont's historic 1901 dirigible flight around the Eiffel Tower. In the CGI design and digital compositing process, we worked very hard to blend natural phenomena, such as wind, clouds, the physical material of Santos’s actual dirigibles with the computer generated imagery to replicate events not previously recorded in history. Sound effects were added to make the seamless integration of live action and CGI that much more compelling.
While all the source material for the program arrived in different formats--some in 720p, all of the interviews were shot in HDV, and the archival footage was Standard Definition 4x3, Palace editor Frances Sheehan got it all to work seamlessly in 1080i 16x9 for the final deliverable. Additonally, Apple Motion was used to create movement from still photographs.