Digital Innovation Guest Columns
4 mins read

Virtual production: The untapped potential

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While still in its early days, virtual production is set to revolutionize content production for publishers by dramatically lowering costs to entry as well as opening up vast choices of film sets, landscapes and virtual worlds, all in a controlled environment. Morden Wolf’s Rob Chandler explains more…

Virtual production (VP) is still in its infancy, however, with the pace of technological advancements within the sector it is set to revolutionize content production as we know it, saving time, money, and ultimately being much more efficient than traditional production methods.

Its usage is growing in the film industry with giants such as Disney and HBO already testing out its true potential, with productions such as Avengers: Endgame and House Of The Dragon. This rise in usage is predicted to also transform the content creator landscape as more studios are set up all around the country. With so many developments taking place in this sector it’s worth exploring what actually makes virtual production different from other forms of content production and why the technology will revolutionize content creation.

The Art of the Possible

Let me set a scene for you – imagine you have a great idea for a script but not enough budget to travel and film in various locations or not enough knowledge to rent out a studio and use the equipment correctly. Or imagine you are a content creator and want to increase the quality of what you produce but as well might be struggling with the costs of it all. This is where virtual production comes to play and can support in making your dream content a (virtual) reality.

Virtual Production allows creators to point, shoot, record, and explore any 3D content as if they are on a real film set, all without complicated post-production editing and at a fraction of the cost. This results in agility, flexibility, and creativity in content production and filmmaking on a level that we’ve never seen before.

The tech used in virtual production is practically off the shelf – the Render Engines, the Graphics Cards, and even the Camera Tracking (to enable ‘in camera visual effects’) are specialist but also affordable and easy to obtain. CGI (computer-generated imagery) platform software is free to the majority and with existing studios being able to be repurposed into a virtual production studio in only a few hours, there is nothing standing in the way of making visual effects accessible to anyone who has content to commercialize or promote, not just filmmakers.

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The rise of virtual production studios

With the rise of virtual production alongside a huge base of talent already in place who understand these new tools and have experience in the world of visual effects, it is no surprise that the number of virtual production studios is growing in the UK.

It’s the reason I launched Morden Wolf with a mission to bring virtual production to all content creators, filmmakers, broadcasters, influencers, and businesses in an affordable and accessible way. One that offers technology that is not difficult to operate, is environmentally friendly, easily adaptable, flexible, and most importantly doesn’t limit one’s creativity.

Whatever industry you may be working in, virtual production could become a tool that is cost and time effective. If you sell your products to international markets you now have the opportunity of swapping them out within minutes all ‘in camera’.

If you want to film in diverse locations but don’t have the funds to travel, with the help of virtual production you can achieve that at a fraction of the cost. Localized environments can be swapped in and out easily, allowing you to produce content in any territory, a South African set or scenery swapped with Scandinavia in minutes. Additionally, these environments can be adjusted to any time of day, removing the limitations of filming in real life, where lighting might be affecting the quality of the content.

With virtual production, everything gets created in a controlled environment, with any changes or adjustments being implemented within minutes allowing for efficient work and the production of desirable outcomes.

While the virtual production industry still has a lot to work on and is just in its infancy, it’s becoming clear that it will become the future of filmmaking and content creation. While there are still challenges around how realistic some settings look, the technology is only getting smarter and more realistic. With the introduction of more virtual production studios around the country, we are going to see a huge rise in all content creators using this technology – change is coming and it’s incredibly exciting to see how virtual production will be used and how valuable it will become to all content creators.

Rob Chandler
Founder, Morden Wolf 

Morden Wolf is a virtual production studio offering boundless creative possibilities to all content creators, movie makers, broadcasters, social media influencers, businesses and the creative industry in an affordable and accessible way. The company has two studios based in North Greenwich and Marylebone but can transport its virtual production technology to almost any location globally. Morden Wolf delivers trusted advice and understanding of the virtual production process and supports all clients to create the best content possible based on their needs.