Virtual production is basically a way of creating an illusion to tell a story. Innovation and advancement in this area means developing methods to create these illusions more easily and effectively, and to help the story feel more compelling.
The rise of virtual production
At first glance, virtual production can seem like a complex tool that requires training and skill development. It can be seen as overly expensive, resource intensive and ultimately time consuming. However, thanks to recent advances in technology, this is no longer the case.
Virtual production has never been more accessible or offered so many options to create engaging content and entertain wide audiences, delivering Hollywood-style results without the Hollywood-style prize.
The focus of virtual production technology has shifted to bringing tools directly to developers rather than using an intermediary. This is no longer limited to the elite of the creative industries. Immersive content can be created from the comfort of your living room, from start to finish.
Software that is continuously supported and developed is the most effective way to help content creators. It allows us to change the way people perceive technology’s versatility as well as accessibility, instead of being limited to expensive hardware, allowing entry into the consumer market.
Make the most of virtual production with the essentials
The rise of virtual production software has enabled filmmakers to take full advantage of virtual production technology with the bare minimum of everything – budget, resources and time.
For now, the basic setup should take less than an hour and consists of:
- A screen: a 4KTV or projector
- A recording device, smartphone(s) or GoPro(s)
- Virtual Production Software
For a total beginner, there is software that has no experience or skill requirements to use efficiently and to the fullest. Independent filmmakers can jump right in and start recording. There is an ever expanding range of products, including technology used by Hollywood production companies themselves, all available in the consumer market.
For example, the software we use at ARwall is used in several major productions with companies like Netflix and Disney. This technology is readily available in the consumer market and enables the delivery of blockbuster results without the blockbuster price.
Accessibility, usability and the user experience
Not only have these technological advances raised the bar on what is possible in content creation, they have lowered the entry requirements for the industry and fostered a more innovative and creative environment from a far larger pool of talent.
With those without 3D design experience now able to use technology with real-time rendering and compositing, virtual production is quickly becoming an essential part of a content creator’s toolkit, regardless of skill level.
There’s a lot of debate about whether the illusion and effects are convincing, and as a company we’re certainly committed to that, but the focus should also be on making virtual production an easier process to control. The ultimate goal of any creator should be to achieve an aesthetic that is both compelling and unattainable without this technology.
Most importantly, the software is easy to use and requires little to no training. Easy means that one person can set up, shoot and act alone. Some of the advantages of this type of software compared to shooting on location or on physical sets include less downtime, fewer company relocations, and sometimes the complete elimination of a set design team from production.
Virtual production is particularly critical to the success of independent filmmakers and studios because of the sheer number of barriers it removes—budget, resources, and time. It can be integrated into the entire production pipeline and the impact on the project can be huge, cutting days off the schedule.
These skills can also attract celebrity talent to your production – a major challenge for independent filmmakers and studios – due to the simplicity and limited time involved in shooting. Being set up and running near the actor’s house within 40 minutes is much more convenient and an all-round better experience.
The future for independent filmmakers
In my opinion, the future for independent filmmakers is simply unknown. The rapid introduction of real-time graphics, deepfakes, AI and more makes this an impossible scenario to predict. It will be determined now and in the years to come by those who actually create the content.
Thanks to the rapid rise of digitization, the new generation faces more significant market competition, especially online, such as B. “Streaming wars” than previous generations. This has created a whole new breed of filmmaker with more independent creative freedom than ever before.
These independent creators produce massive amounts of content in many formats, from short opinion videos to product reviews and live streams of games. This can come from anyone, anywhere, regardless of their level of experience.
Established independent content creators and streamers have the opportunity to instantly reach millions of people online through activities such as live streaming, and this type of audience engagement will continue to grow with the rise of digital performances and animated content from well-known artists online platforms.
There are a lot of stories out there that were considered unmovable for various reasons, and I think we could see filmmakers approach these in new, popular ways. Independent filmmakers tend to have an almost uncanny ability to understand their audiences and respectfully connect their stories to the needs of everyday people.
To learn more about ARwall, the XR technology company that creates award-winning solutions to disrupt entire industries, visit https://arwall.co/.
René has 24 years of experience with 16 startups and started working for his parents’ startups in Silicon Valley at an early age. He has also directed over 350 commercials, short films and pilots; mainly as co-founder and creative director for 8 years at the digital agency Automaton Creative. Most recently, as co-founder of ARwall, Rene won the SXSW Accelerator 2018 AR/VR category pitch, was recognized as the top AR tech evangelist in Hollywood, and designed the first ARwall Lab in Burbank.