Virtual production used to be a term used in big Hollywood productions such as Batman, The Jungle Book and The Mandalorian.
With increased access to the technology, it has started moving to smaller productions worldwide, including TV series, commercials and music videos.
And now, local companies such as Breadbin Productions are pioneering the way forward for SA by bringing virtual production to our doorstep.
Garon Campbell, director and founder of Breadbin Productions has been on an educational drive this year. Not only has he been invited by Universities, Film Schools and Tech Events to talk about virtual production. He has also spent a better part of 2023 focusing his attention on agencies in a drive to provide awareness around Virtual Production.
Garon emphasises, "Virtual Production (VP) has demonstrated its potential as the future of filmmaking on a global scale within the film industry. Our primary goal is to raise awareness, provide education, and generate enthusiasm for VP, encouraging our colleagues to embrace this remarkable opportunity and recognize its significance in the industry."
Breadbin wanted to showcase VP to a live audience in a LED volume, rather than the usual green screen variation which has been their prize offering for the past few years.
This endeavour, featured at the FM AdFocus Awards, aimed to demonstrate the simplicity of implementing virtual production. With support from Panavision and Panalux for cutting-edge lights and equipment, coupled with Immersive Showtech providing the LED screen, they successfully presented an international-level production on-site.
This was Johannesburg’s first experiential virtual production using Unreal Engine and engaging a live audience with an LED screen. There were many complexities, but the opportunity to showcase the incredible benefits of virtual production to 30-plus agencies made the task worthwhile.
Gareth Norman, creative head at Breadbin, expresses, "Our journey has been extraordinary, marked by a steep learning curve, as we've created some of the most intricate productions, with only our imagination setting the boundaries."
Through virtual production, one can exercise complete control over lighting using a DMX board, effortlessly transitioning between locations at the push of a button. This enables real-time adjustments on the fly.
Having this tool in a production's toolkit proves highly effective, especially when faced with tight schedules, numerous locations, and challenging weather conditions.
The complete filming takes place in a single location within a soundproof, weatherproof studio.
Garon adds, "While it may not replace every traditional shoot, envision the convenience of arriving daily in a familiar space, effortlessly transitioning from a desert to an upscale bar to a rundown neighbourhood within seconds. And my personal favourite, easily doing a quick pick-up from the previous day's ‘kitchen location’ when the actor wasn't quite feeling it."
If you're interested in delving into this remarkable opportunity, don't hesitate to get in touch with these inspiring individuals. They offer educational resources, engaging presentations, and are open to discussions with anyone sharing a similar mindset.
Feel free to reach out and explore the possibilities with them.
Mobile: 074 172 1451