Following on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Sin City, 300, and even TV series’ like John Adams, the advantages of virtual sets and locations are attractive to indie filmmakers, though maybe a little bit out of reach. Nevertheless, the unending advance of affordable technology is closing the gap, making virtual production within the grasp of smaller producers without compromising quality.
I’ve been following the efforts to build Southeastern Studios (Now LA Castle Studios), an exciting new green screen studio, for the past couple of years on indieclub.com. After mucking about with the local red tape of planning commissions and permits, they’re up and running and it’s pretty impressive.
**Edit: Since this posting the studio has moved from Vero Beach, FL to Burbank, CA. Check out the studio here: LACastleStudios.com.
Just as you saw with 300, the action can take place on their huge greenscreen stage, and all your sets and backgrounds can be virtual. They’ll design and build the backgrounds for you, or you can provide your own.
The real differentiation seems to be their integration of the Ultimatte system, which allows you to see your actors and virtual settings composited on the monitor in real time, rather than waiting weeks or months for your post-production specialists to composite, only to find out something didn’t work quite like you wanted it.
They’ve got all the equipment you need, from cameras to cranes, dollies to editing suites, all synced with the software and one another for maximum efficiency… so all you have to do is show up with a great idea and maybe some actors.
So what are you waiting for?