The CBS mega hit S.W.A.T. has always been fast moving—on air and on set. Shot on multiple stages at Santa Clarita Studios and diverse locations throughout the Los Angeles area, the series averages 100 set-ups per day. Giving life to the adrenalin pumping story lines has always been a creative feat for accomplished cinematographer Francis Kenny, ASC (Justified, Heathers, Bruce Beresford’s Bonny & Clyde, New Jack City), and his crew.
Arri has opened its new state-of-the-art mixed reality studio in the UK. Equipped with an LED volume comprising 343 square meters of LED wall, installed in partnership with NEP Live Events production and technical specialist firm Creative Technology, the studio is one of the biggest permanent mixed reality production spaces in Europe.
As a growing number of film producers embrace the idea of virtual production, Arri has established the Arri Solutions Group, which is focused on the design and engineering of customized production infrastructures, including innovative mixed-reality environments, and other ultra-modern solutions. One of the group’s first mixed reality reference projects is the recently operational Dark Bay Virtual Production Studio in Babelsberg near Berlin.
With a heritage that dates back more than 100 years, Twickenham Film Studios has recently gone through a much-needed £15 million renovation. The time seemed right, and its top executives led by managing partners Piers Read, Jeremy Rainbird and managing director Cara Sheppard wanted to signal a new era for the business by redesigning the brand in line with the site's redevelopment works. The full rebrand has been an opportunity to position TFS as a creative home for filmmakers.
Arri has introduced Remote Solutions, a toolkit that can be customized to meet near-set and off-set workflows. This remote production ecosystem allows professionals to safely and immediately get back to work without compromising operational and creative control.
Late last year, as was widely reported, the investment firm Arts Alliance opened Garden Studios, a 62,000-square-foot facility located in Park Royal, West London. Arts Alliance founder and CEO Thomas Hoegh said at the time, “This will be an owner-operated business, spearheaded by people who have long and deep experience across many aspects of the film industry with success stories like Picturehouse Cinemas, Love Film, Arts Alliance Media, Met Film School and Park Circus under our belts. Like all Arts Alliance companies, we seek to demonstrate an innovative and passionate drive for inclusive community building, learning, and opportunities for all.” In all his businesses Hoegh says, “My principal task is not to be in the way.” I recently spoke via email with Hoegh and Garden Studios CTO Rich Phillips to learn more about this latest venture.
The future of independent film production in a post-covd-19 world is taking “virtual” shape at Pace Pictures in Hollywood. The boutique facility recently used groundbreaking virtual production technology to produce Match, a feature-length romantic comedy from director Sean McGinly (Silver Lake, The Great Buck Howard). Actors were shot on a green screen stage and placed into virtual three-dimensional environments while incorporating complex camera movement and lighting. Most remarkably, principal photography was accomplished in just five days and at a fraction of the cost of most conventional film productions.
This Wednesday, December 16, at 11:00 a.m. PST, G-Technology’s Martin Christien is hosting a live Zoom conversation with cinematographers Eve Cohen and Jim Geduldick to discuss the various challenges that they have each encountered recently in the midst of the pandemic regarding schedules, production workflows, products/gear, and ensuring safety within physical and virtual production spaces.
Signs of life for the movie industry have just been spotted on Mars. A group of veteran Hollywood filmmakers have announced plans for Gods of Mars, a feature-length sci-fi epic, to be produced through a blend of revolutionary virtual production technology and special effects techniques from the original Star Wars era. Providing a possible blueprint for filmmaking’s future, the hybrid technique allows productions to move quickly, and at a fraction of the cost of today’s $200-plus million studio blockbusters.
Industrial Light & Magic has announced the next phase of its global expansion plan for the company’s virtual production and StageCraft LED volume services. This expansion of services is tied to a proactive initiative for increasing diversity in the industry by combining ILM’s growth in this innovative methodology with a global trainee program geared for underrepresented VFX talent.