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HIGH’s Lessons for Virtual Production on an Indie Budget

🌐 Doctor Who VFX, Magicbox & LucidLink, Basketball NeRFs

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STAGE A

HIGH’s Lessons for Virtual Production on an Indie Budget

In our latest podcast episode, we talk with filmmakers Jonathan Mason and Tisha Robinson-Daly about their journey into virtual production and the challenges they faced in filming a proof of concept teaser for HIGH - an indie film that explores the world of tower climbers.

The teaser was shot over two days at Disguise & ROE’s VP stage in Chatsworth.

Some of their key takeaways when shooting virtual production for the first time:

  • Invest in the very best VAD you can afford as early as possible.

  • Virtual production isn’t necessarily cheaper than a traditional VFX pipeline. But you get better usage of time and more on-set control.

  • If you don’t know your stage dimensions from the start, source real ones as a placeholder. Those constraints will keep you in check and it’s easy enough to modify the dimensions once you have a stage. 

  • Get a producer who specifically knows virtual production. This paired with having set dimensions to work with will prevent a lot of time wasting.

Here’s Jonathan on the benefits of the last two notes:

To have someone who can tell you early on about the technical aspects is so incredibly helpful, so you don't waste time with these pie in the sky ideas.

Jonathan Mason

Watch the episode on YouTube or subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Also, check out Jonathan & Tisha’s extensive write-up in Filmmaker Magazine about their journey.

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Behind the Scenes

☎️ Doctor Who VFX breakdown, which also used Mo-Sys’ NearTime re-rendering service.

🪄 Magicbox, the mobile LED volume in a semi-trailer, partnered with LucidLink at Adobe Max 2023 to create personalized jungle adventure movies for participants. Using Frame.io’s Camera2Cloud, footage was instantly uploaded to the cloud, transferred to Lucidlink, edited remotely, then delivered back to Frame.io for participants to download.

🏁 Diamond View posted a BTS video of their Emmy-winning NASCAR - The Greatest Finish video, shot at Vū.

🏜️ Neiman Marcus shot their entire Fall 2023 campaign, with six different locations, in one day at Pier59 Studios.

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🌐 AI in the Real World

🏀 The Phoenix Suns used NeRFs to create their season intro video.

🌍 Runway ML is working on their own general world models. “The aim of general world models will be to represent and simulate a wide range of situations and interactions, like those encountered in the real world.”

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🌦️ UK TV facility dock10 has partnered with the University of York for a research project to explore how AI can simulate realistic light interactions in virtual studios.

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