The American Society of Cinematographers has completed its Standard Evaluation Material II project. The short film is an initiative by the organization to provide standardized viewing material designed to aid in the development and calibration of technology impacting the modern imaging chain. StEM2 test packages will be available in early 2022 to download for free in all common theatrical and home TV formats.
Fittingly for a film rooted in Broadway, post-production on the feature film Tick, Tick … Boom! was largely completed in New York City by members of the Post New York Alliance. Visual effects house Phosphene used its wizardry to reconstruct several of Larson’s hangouts from the 1990s and help the production overcome the challenges of filmmaking during the covid pandemic. Picture finishing, meanwhile, was executed wholly at Company 3, where award-winning colorist Stephen Nakamura worked with Miranda and cinematographer Alice Brooks, ASC to finetune the dreamlike imagery used to tell Larson’s story.
The visual effects team at Pixomondo brought Star Trek: Discovery into a new era using virtual production filming on Pixomondo’s large volume LED stage in Toronto, Canada.
The Disney+ series Just Beyond relied on VFX Legion to produce intricate digital effects for a complex mix of shots. The genre anthology, inspired by Boom! Studios’ series of graphic novels written by R.L Stine, features eight episodes, each with a different cast and a stand-alone story set in the supernatural realm.
Hula Post, a woman-owned post-production company, supplied editing systems for King Richard, a biographical drama following the life of Richard Williams, the father and coach of tennis pros Venus and Serena Williams. Hula Post provided Avid workstations, storage, workflow design, creative editorial space, and remote editing systems. King Richard reunited Oscar-nominated editor Pamela Martin, ACE, and Hula Post once again.
Virtual production is gaining more traction in the motion picture business. One example? The recent collaboration of several companies came together for both practical and creative reasons to bring the Disney+ feature the Muppets Haunted Mansion to life. “The Muppets and ARwall are a perfect fit,” says Rene Amador, co-founder and CEO of ARwall. His company creates virtual production technology for its own use and in turn markets it to other filmmakers. Its first product is ARFX, a suite of real-time tools developed natively for using real-time in-camera LED effects in scripted filmmaking.
Netflix’s Stowaway, starring Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson and Toni Collette, follows a space mission that is headed to Mars when an unintended stowaway accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship’s life support systems. Facing dwindling resources and a potentially fatal outcome, the crew is forced to make an impossible decision.
Rising Sun Pictures has added two post-doctoral researchers from the Australian Institute for Machine Learning to lead a new initiative centered on the application of artificial intelligence to its visual effects pipeline. Dr. John Bastian and Dr. Ben Ward will develop pipeline tools based on machine learning and other AI applications as a means of streamlining visual effects production and creating visuals that look more photorealistic.
Assimilate today announced an open beta for its new and innovative Live FX software that enables real-time, live compositing for green-screen and LED wall-based virtual productions on set. Live FX is also ideal for creating quick comps when scouting locations. Live FX features the latest technology in keying, camera tracking, DMX light control, Notch Block integration, and a live link to Unreal Engine that simplifies on-set virtual production for not only previsualization, but even final pixel for in-camera visual effects.
With the film and television industry rebounding from the pandemic, now is a great time to begin a career in visual effects. Production activity, in Australia and worldwide, is expanding quickly as studios and streaming services rush to meet pent up consumer demand for new content. That, in turn, has caused a labor shortage, especially for professionals with specialized training, such as visual effects artists. Studios that produce VFX for film and TV can’t hire qualified talent fast enough.