- COVID-19 outbreak has led to halt in filmmaking; report entitled ‘The Future of Film’ has suggested virtual filmmaking techniques adhere to ongoing social distancing norms
- Films such as ‘The Lion King’ or ‘Gravity’ filmed in entirely virtual sets, without need for conventional bustling movie set
- Independent filmmakers such as The Movie Studio, which have long incorporated unconventional filming techniques, are able to adopt new methods in simpler manner
- Ability to resume film production in timely manner will be crucial in driving earnings, sales going forward
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the Hollywood movie industry to a juddering halt – with the past few days alone bringing reports of a spate of upcoming film releases being further postponed. Nonetheless, with major Hollywood studios bearing the brunt of the economic pain, smaller independent filmmakers such as The Movie Studio (OTC: MVES) stand to benefit. Published only days prior to the United Kingdom going into lockdown, a British report entitled ‘The Future of Film’ (http://ibn.fm/cT0cB) offered some suggestions on how to address the current challenges of filmmaking using a series of “virtual techniques”.
Film studios and location sets have traditionally been a hive of activity, consumed by a frenetic buzz of people and commotion; film crews and actors work in close proximity to others while hair, makeup and costume departments oblige performers to come into contact with one another. The Future of Film report sets out a template of virtual production techniques which they believe are essential practices needed to resume film productions under the required social distancing norms. While virtual techniques are difficult to employ in a full-fledged Hollywood blockbuster requiring hundreds of performers and set workers, independent filmmakers such as The Movie Studio have been using such methods for years.
The Movie Studio has adopted a unique filmmaking technique referred to as ‘fractured motion picture manufacturing’. The process consists of filming short clips of content over weekends, which are subsequently aggregated over a 10-week process to form a feature film. During the process, MVES’ MovieSodes feature, available on its widely-distributed app, features partial distribution of the films over an extended time period through the release of separate episodes – thereby generating an extended buzz around the film (http://ibn.fm/49KBJ).
The process allows for both films to be shot in a time-efficient and socially distant manner as well as enabling The Movie Studio’s online subscribers to participate in the film-making process (with MVES’ app subscribers being able to film and submit short auditions to the film’s directors for potential casting in the ongoing movie). More importantly, the experience with such filming methods has provided MVES with the tools to successfully resume filmmaking in today’s socially distant environment.
In 2019, the remake of ‘The Lion King’ film enacted a number of the suggested techniques while being filmed using an entirely virtual set. The digitalized set enabled an array of creative production personnel, ranging from the film’s directors to the performers, to view the photorealistic computer-generated imagery on screens around them prior to performing in a ‘socially-distanced’ manner within the virtual environment.
Similarly, a process called “pre-viz” – which allows for a film’s screenplay to be pre-visualized, thereby assisting the movie’s directors and producers to make the required creative and logistical decisions surrounding the film – has begun to transform the traditional film production cycle (http://ibn.fm/ra2Ya). Effectively, it means that a film production unit can now begin engaging in traditional post-production practices at the beginning of the filming process rather than at the end, with some films being made in entirely pre-visualized virtual environments.
The use of virtual production techniques means that production teams no longer have to be in the same physical space; rather, creative teams can continue to collaborate while working from remote environments. This evolution in movie-making culture bodes well for independent film companies like The Movie Studio, inviting further innovation and exploration.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.TheMovieStudio.com.
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