We return to the battlegrounds of World War II, as “Masters of the Air” takes flight on Apple TV+ starting Friday, January 26, 2024.
Based on Donald L. Miller’s book, “Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany,” this war drama series brings the riveting tale of the US Army’s elite Eighth Air Force to life and promises to be an authentic and deeply personal account of the American bomber crews. Their daring missions involved bombing some of the most heavily fortified cities in Nazi Germany, including Berlin, Hanover, Leipzig, and Dresden.
The Eighth Air Force took to the skies, risking everything to deliver a decisive blow to the heart of the enemy. Their daring sorties targeted rail facilities and oil refineries, while also entailing perilous air-to-air fighter combat at altitudes reaching 25,000 feet. The missions were fraught with danger, but they produced countless heroes, and their story is one of valour, resilience, and unwavering determination.
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, join forces again nearly 22 years after their hugely successful WW2 series: “Band of Brothers” and 13 years since: “The Pacific”. While “Band of Brothers” centred on ground assaults following the 101st Airborne’s daring parachute drop into Europe, and “The Pacific” brought the intense island-hopping campaign of the Eastern theatre of WWII to the forefront, “Masters of the Air” directs its gaze skyward.
One of the most exciting elements of “Masters of the Air” is its treatment of aerial combat. The depiction of WWII plane scenes is poised to break new ground, offering an awe-inspiring experience that will captivate audiences.
To create such an immersive and believable WW2 aerial environment, various aviation specialists were involved, one of those being Spirit in the Sky. The majority of our tasks involved plate work. Spirit in the Sky’s team meticulously reconstructed bombing runs spanning from East Anglia to Norway and East Anglia to Germany, with a primary focus on B17 Aircraft. To capture these sequences for visual effects (VFX), we employed a helicopter equipped with a three-camera Array setup. In addition, Spirit in the Sky arranged for a P51 Mustang in the distinctive Red Tail Air Force livery to be flown by Richard Grace in Abington. Spirit in the Sky played a pivotal role in securing all necessary permits and coordinating the aerial aspects of these plate shoots, including the utilization of the P51 Mustang.
With a talented ensemble cast, fantastic aerial teams, a colossal budget, and the expertise of Spielberg and Hanks, the “Masters of the Air” epic war series is all set to deliver an unforgettable portrayal of history’s heroes in the vast skies of WWII Europe.