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Emmy success for Teesside University graduate

25 January 2024


A successful Teesside University graduate who recently returned to the region to inspire guests at Animex is celebrating an Emmy Award for his work on a flagship HBO series.

Nick Marshall, pictured far left, with some of the Emmy winning team
Nick Marshall, pictured far left, with some of the Emmy winning team

Nick Marshall, who graduated from the BA (Hons) Digital Visual Effects in 2009, was among a team which won a creative arts Emmy award for ‘Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Season Or A Movie’ for his team’s work on acclaimed series The Last of Us.

American post-apocalyptic drama television series The Last of Us is based on the hugely popular video game franchise.

Nick, who is the DFX supervisor on the show, lead the team at DNEG Vancouver in crafting extensive exterior environments to showcase cities during and after modern civilization being destroyed by a sweeping infection.

The team grew ivy, constructed skylines, built mountains, and destroyed buildings to bring locations from the iconic video game to life.

The Teesside University graduate, who is originally from Huddersfield, paid tribute to the region's cinematic history and filmmakers like Ridley Scott, when collecting his award.

Now working at the DNEG visual effects and animation studio in Canada, he said his time at Teesside University helped to prepare him for a career in the film industry.

“I loved my time getting to know the area,” he said. “There's a good history of filmmakers, like Ridley Scott, and it gave me an opportunity to explore different areas - there weren't any constraints on what I could explore.

“It gave me the best grounding in the industry.”

After graduating from Teesside in 2009, Mr Marshall started ‘at the bottom rung of the ladder’ as a runner for a visual effects studio and worked his way up to becoming an expert in digital effects.

The Emmy win recognised Mr Marshall's work as DFX supervisor overseeing the creation of visuals on the HBO series, which was an adaptation of the PlayStation game of the same name.

It gave me the best grounding in the industry

Emmy winning Nick Marshall and Teesside University graduate

Mr Marshall said: “It's a very strange thing, very surreal. Going into it, I certainly wasn't expecting to come away with a win.

“The calibre was so high that there was absolutely no shame in walking away without a victory. To actually hear our name called out was phenomenal, a total shock and a great surprise.”

Mr Marshall said working on the acclaimed show, which starred Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, had been a great experience.

“Working on it, you could tell there was something a little bit special about this one,” he said.

“Everyone was rooting for its success from day one and it feels great now, seeing it so well received.”

He said the “discerning” gaming community were fans too, adding: “They also understand visuals very, very well, so creating that visual content it was an added pressure knowing you're not just trying to impress the general public. You've got gaming fans very well versed in what good visuals should look like."

Towards the end of last year, Nick was among world-renowned experts in animation, VFX and computer games who visited our region for Teesside University’s hugely popular Animex Festival.

Nick was among industry professionals who have worked on global titles who shared insight into their work as Animex guest speakers. Nick gave a presentation into how he and the team created the stunning visuals for the popular HBO drama show.

Animex, which attracted thousands of visitors, marked its 24th year when it was held over five days last November at Teesside University and Middlesbrough Town Hall.

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