Even though I'm still waiting for Disney+ be available in Greece, so I can watch all it's amazing catalog, one show in particular caught my attention. Not because it belongs to the Star Wars universe but because of the innovative technique it used to film its episodes.
The Mandalorian uses a 360° virtual led set as a backdrop for it's scenery! ILM worked with Epic Games on this project. Using “game engine, real-time render, and video wall technology” they projected whatever backdrop they wanted in a 360-degree, virtual set. LED screens right the way ’round. The set moved when the actors or camera moved so it always appeared in the proper dimensions. It all came together in a massive room on a soundstage.
Now at a first glance it seems like a rehash of the old tried technique of rear projection like in those old movies, but it's so much more than that.
The question that arises is, is it any good?...ooooh yeah it looks so good! But that isn't what makes it amazing. I know this will change the way movies are being made, from many aspects. As a producer no more scouting and paying for locations, no more moving an entire crew from set to set. From a director's perspective finally a location that is exactly the way it was imagined. From a CGI artist's perspective no more tracking, green screen removal and all that tedious time consuming AND expensive post production. From a D.o.P's perspective...well magic hour can last a whole day!
There are going to be very little reasons for productions NOT to use this in the future...no set is too small or big to use this amazing technology. Do you want to film a scene of astronauts fighting aliens on the moon...with the correct lighting and ambiance...boom! You got it! Do you want to film inside the Forbidden City in China the next day? Boom..you have it ready! No more set design no more location scouting no more trying to obtain permissions to film in sensitive areas...you just walk in the Led room and like in a restaurant request whatever you want! and just like any innovative technology, it's price will go down and soon it will trickle down to smaller budget productions. Not to mention that a whole new market of pre-rendered locations created by independent VFX artists will arise thanks to Unreal's availability of it's engine for anyone to learn and use!
Check out the video below , where you hopefully you will see why I see it as the future of film making!
P.S ... cmooon Disney+...when will you launch in Greece?