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What we Learned at Vū's First Virtual Production Summit

🌐 State of VP, Rob Legato on AI

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Has everyone recovered from NAB?

What a great show! It was fantastic to meet so many of you in person for the first time.

I know the newsletter has been quiet about NAB updates—that’s because we’ve been busy posting all of our video coverage.

Here’s our playlist - 31 videos published so far, which is a bit more than half of everything we shot. We still have a lot more to go so check out our YouTube channel for when they go live.

We’ll do some more trends and recaps in future newsletters.

But in this newsletter, we’re going to focus on an event that happened the day before NAB…

Vū’s first-ever Virtually Everything! Summit, or VES (not to be confused with VES). Vū hosted the event at their giant Las Vegas studio on Saturday, April 13th, right before NAB.

In this VP Land we’re going deep with what we learned at VES about virtual production and the future of media and entertainment:

  • Vu’s CEO Tim Moore on the state of virtual production

  • VFX legend Rob Legato on AI

  • Accenture’s John Peters on VP expanding to other industries

And a whole bunch more - let’s jump into it!

Tim Moore: The State of Virtual Production

In his keynote talk at VES, Vū CEO Tim Moore gave his view on the state of virtual production. Later, we sat down to discuss in more detail where he sees the VP industry going and what role AI will play in the future of media creation.

Tim’s Keynote Takeaways:

  • Beyond Studios: While Vū has four of their own studios in the US and a network of 28 other studios, they’ve been expanding beyond just stages.

    They recently launched Vu One, an all-in-one virtual production system for the mid-market, and Virtual Studio, a software platform with previsualization tools, AI generators, and workflow tools.

  • VP is still in the early adopter stage: Tim says we’re still in the early adopter phase of virtual production, not yet crossing the chasm from Geoffrey Moore’s famous tech adoption model. Workflows are still being developed; best practices are being figured out.

    But we’re also seeing the tech expand beyond media and entertainment, like Vū’s partnership with Accenture and the use of VP tech in various industries for meetings, presentations, and collaboration.

  • AI Transformation: Tim believes generative AI will transform the industry this year but cautions that transformative technologies take time to gain traction in existing workflows.

Dreaming in real-time is a powerful tool because it's like seeing your vision. Actually visioneering something is extremely powerful. Most people have to put a lot of effort to take a vision into video form. Now, imagine just saying it and seeing your vision in real-time. That, that to me, I think it's going to be incredible in a few years.

Tim Moore

However, he also notes that there will likely be an "AI correction" later this year as part of the hype cycle, similar to what happened with the internet, virtual production, and crypto. Despite this, Tim remains bullish on AI's potential to improve video production.

Looking to the future, Tim believes that in three years, "we're in a world where as fast as you could say something, you could see the visual equivalent of that." This could fundamentally change the technical skills needed in production.

As AI continues to advance, it's clear that the creative industry is on the brink of a major transformation. With companies like Vu leading the charge, the future of video production looks bright – and incredibly exciting.

Rob Legato, ASC on AI: “Nothing New”

3x Academy Award-winning VFX legend Rob Legato gave an insightful keynote on his thoughts on AI and the evolution of new tech in visual effects.

The gist: this is nothing new.

Rob’s Takeaways:

  • Filmmakers have always needed ways to visualize their ideas, from detailed drawings to movie clips, to ensure their vision is successfully translated to the screen.

  • Legato walks us through examples of how filmmakers have visualized their ideas throughout history, from the descriptive scene in Citizen Kane to the animatics used in Star Wars. He also shares his own experience using Unreal Engine to quickly create a scene, emphasizing that the tool is just a means to realize the filmmaker's vision.

  • AI and virtual production tools can help filmmakers get closer to their vision, but there's still a need for iteration and human creativity to achieve the desired result.

When you see something that has no soul in it, shot after shot after shot, you pick up on that, and it's mechanical. It's like watching a mechanically made movie

Rob Legato, ASC

Looking to the future, Legato is excited about the creation of the next film and the opportunity to do things that haven't been done before. "You go to the movies to see something you haven't seen before. Otherwise, you're seeing a retread," he explains.

As the tools continue to evolve, Legato believes that artists will adapt and use them to tell compelling stories in new ways.

The key is to maintain the soul and creative vision in the filmmaking process, rather than relying on mechanical or formulaic approaches.

More from VES

Lux Machina’s Phil Galler on the future of storytelling technology

American Cinematographer Magazine’s Virtual Production Editor Noah Kadner on Generative AI

Accenture’s John Peters on industries beyond M&E using virtual production tech to stay radical

Cuebric’s Pinar Seyhan Demirdag on using AI in production environments

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