Virtual production & the accelerating impact of Covid

A clear impact of Covid is that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies, especially those which emphasise digital production and distribution whilst reducing physical proximity.

In LA late last year I was shown an interesting new production technique combining games engine tech and LED volume production spaces. In the period since then the demand for these emergent virtual production processes and tools, bringing real time rendering and visual effects onto set, has increased rapidly – condensing transformative change into a matter of months, driven in part by the opportunity afforded by virtual production but also because of a match to the new necessities post-Covid.

I hosted a panel of the leading proponents of virtual production to explore the technology, discuss the pros and cons of this shift and foresight what it means for the production sector in the years to come. And one advantage of lockdowns is that I could get access to panellists in London, Leeds, LA and San Francisco from Bristol…

Vicky Wharton – Exec Producer, Sky Innovation Lab
Chris Ferriter – CEO, Halon
Ian Milham – Virtual Production Supervisor, ILM
Ben Lumsden – Business Development Manager, Epic Games / Unreal Labs London

They were asked to define “virtual production”, identify the technology advances and explain how it impacts both content development and production.

And in discussion the answer to my question “fundamental change or agile tool?” quickly became fundamental change AND agile tool.

Image credit: Industrial Light & Magic / Lucasfilm Ltd.

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