Yesterday we were kindly invited to visit Garden Studios, home of our friends at Quite Brilliant. A company responsible for the first permanent UK virtual studio, and a demonstration as to how it all works on a live shoot.
For those that aren't aware, Virtual Production uses game engines to redesign the whole film making process, allowing directors, producers, set designers and actors to work live in camera, using final pixels onset. The Film and TV industry have been using these techniques for some time, with probably The Mandalorian its most coveted success. The virtual production rig creates a stage, using a huge screen that transports the talent to anywhere you want to shoot. The onscreen talent can respond to the environment, whilst the director tinkers with the lighting, sound or movement onset. Using Epic Games' powerful Unreal Engine, it gives the ability for real time rendering and an opportunity to perfect shots.
The benefits for the industry could be massive, it of course has a huge impact on cost and speed, and creates great value. The craft is improving all the time, and it's some of the techniques and physical props appearing at the front of the stage, that give the shot its life and depth. There's also a morality to virtual shooting, and the industries commitment to sustainability. The carbon footprint is so much lower, and when the world opens back up, it's a major tool to keep these commitments. Yesterday we were transported from a car park to an office in a matter of minutes. The shot before we arrived, had been in a mountainous landscape. The ability to shoot 4 or 5 different locations in a day is unprecedented. So thank you to Chris Chaundler and the aptly named Quite Brilliant team for inviting us. If anyone is interested in a chat about Virtual Production you can find their details here https://www.quitebrilliant.co.uk/ or contact us and we'd be happy to introduce.