As filmmakers, the first priority is to tell the story in the best possible way
Whether an indie director, producer, writer or part of a large team, you are fully aware that the finished film will always be produced to the budget available.
As a result, the predicability of costs becomes a major part of the production process.
The concept of Virtual Production promises to ease a great deal of the unpredictability of the art.
While achieving Final Pixel and In-Camera VFX to reduce Post Production are the objectives of the VP filmmaking workflow, which the industry is working hard to progress to, incorporating a new approach will inevitable have challenges, as well as opportunities.
At Morden Wolf we take an 'agile' approach to Virtual Production, when speed and quality are the priority. Our 'Plug and Play' studio hire option means it is possible to be ready to shoot within minutes, while our system wet hire option, affords for set-up at a location or studio of your choice, supporting talent availability and reducing crew travel.
With this in mind, we routinely:
Produce 80+ takes a day
Supply a rough edit within minutes of 'wrap'
Replace an entire film's CGI plate in a matter of days
While this approach may not suit all productions, there are clear advantages and opportunities in other areas of the filmmaking process.
Script's that would benefit greatly to be visualised to help secure backing.
Taking the imagination out of shot set-ups:
Shot and sequence planning can take place within a CGI version of a location
Directors, actors, producers and DoPs can approve, experience and interact with scenes and sets before construction
Set development and adjustment take place without expensive physical modelling
On-set live visualisation of each take to cast and crew
On-set adjustments to CGI: time of day, lighting, prop and scene movement
Allowing for the physics, space and interactions of a complex scene to be tested prior to being on set and on-set before cast and crew call-time. Resulting in:
Camera positioning, data or lenses can be fully explored
Physicality of a space can be tested for flow, feasibility and safety
The ideal use of this innovative tech is to point and shoot with as little post production as possible. While the tech is developing as an incredible rate, Final Pixel is very achievable.
Record as live from within a CGI environment, incorporating realtime vfx composting 'in processor' as a 'what you see, is what you get'
The instant availability of rushes results in realtime play back and on-set rough editing
Scheduling the shoots around the availability of final CGI is a big challenge. The constant risk of delays or 'after the fact' updates is very realistic, impacting post production costs.
This together with the technical challenges of complex CGI and on-set processing power can be limiting to a Final Pixel aspiration.
However, using Cloud rendering of the CGI 'NearTime' results in:
High quality CGI can be rendered directly after a take or at a later date - maintaining all camera positioning and movement, as well as lens zoom and focus data with CGI VFX
'After the fact' CGI changes can be simply re-rendered with no costly post requirements
A proxy CGI bing used on-set, reducing the on-set processing power requirement
B-Role, Pick-Ups, Call-Backs and Establishing Shots can take place in a managed and suitable environment - no need to hold expensive locations or studios 'just in case' or recreate weather conditions.
So any number of virtual locations can be shot on from a single studio, reducing time and expensive travel.