One of the hottest shows currently in circulation continues to make use of immersive technology to simplify the production process.
The team working on season three of The Mandalorian is using VR technology to assist them in finding real-world locations they can recreate using their VFX studio. Once the location has been created, the director of photography can then step in and “massage” the virtual set in a variety of ways.
They can rotate the scene, add rocks, even adjust the position of the sun, allowing them to hold “magic hour”—the period just before sunrise and just after sunset—for as long as is needed.
During Variety’s Artisans series,Baz Idoine—Director of Photography onThe Mandalorian—talked about how the team was able to discover essential storytelling locations using a process referred to as “VR scouting.”
“We created a designscape that was inspired by Japanese filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa with Yojimbo or Princess Monoke,” said Idoine. “The production designer and I will spend a lot of time working with his designs and sets, moving them around in concert with me adjusting my lighting so that we can create an environment that we know will work.”
“The actors can see it as well, the directors can see it as well,” added Idoine. “They can relate to all of these story points that they might be looking at. If you shoot on a green screen stage, you don’t see that stuff, the actors aren’t immersed in this environment.”
Idoine also talked about the work of Japanese cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa while shooting the jaw-dropping Season 2 finale “The Jedi” and how VR scouting helped him build out his vision of the Star Wars universe.
Using the same VFX studio developed by ILM StageCraft system for season one of the show, the process of VR scouting offered Idoine and the rest of the team a streamlined process in which multiple departments working on the show could make changes on the fly, versus traditional filming which can take many months between production and post-production.
After the successful use of vitual technology on the set of The Mandalorian, showrunners from other Disney projects, from Star Wars to Marvel, have also begun utiliizing VR scouting to help tell their stories.
Idoine praised executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni during his interview with Variety for providing him with the creative freedom necessary to bring his vision of the iconic franchise to life on the small screen.
“Something that I’m most proud of from ‘The Jedi’ is that the technology didn’t get in the way of the story, but actually enhanced it. It gave me the opportunity to use all of those years of experience that I had in the film industry, to do the best work of my life.”
For more information check out the original report from Variety.
Feature Image Credit: Disney