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VFX VOICE | The Rise and Future of High End Episodic VFX

NewsJune 6, 2022

When it comes to witnessing what is achievable with visual effects, no longer does one have to go to a theater, as high-end episodic has essentially become a long form cinematic experience that can be enjoyed by turning on a television or mobile device. This is not going to change with streamers spending billions of dollars to create content to stand apart from their like-minded competitors. The result is an impressive array of shows that are not lacking in storytelling ambition, whether it be The Wheel of Time, The Witcher, Foundation or The Book of Boba Fett. Virtual production has become synonymous with The Mandalorian, but this innovative methodology is only an aspect of the visual effects landscape which continues to evolve technologically. What does the future look like for the visual effects industry and episodic productions in the pandemic and post-pandemic era? This is a question that we try to answer by consulting the players responsible for producing the wealth of content that is available for viewers to watch.

Christopher Gray, Senior Vice President, Episodic, MPC

“In the short term, we’re already seeing the wider application of these techniques [virtual production, real-time, machine learning]. Every show we are working on in episodic employs at least one of these toolsets in some capacity, but I think the greatest opportunity, as silicone begins to catch up, is the ability to iterate more quickly, particularly in animation. In the next five years, we’ll see more widespread adoption of real-time and near real-time GPU rendering for final pixel. The technology is close, but it’s the development of existing workflows and the continued widening of the knowledge base that needs to expand to capitalize on this moment.

“We’re seeing the rise of great new prospects for counter programming, film and episodic projects that would struggle to find an audience five years ago, and we’re doing so more and more now thanks to strategic work in this space by Amazon and Apple leading the charge, and Netflix particularly so, with its commitment to international and local-language film and series and limited theatrical releasing. The exciting aspect is that as studio operations become more integrated and these two mediums converge, film production can benefit greatly from these efficiency gains, and episodic production can benefit from a knowledge base carved at the highest level.”

Read the full article here via VFXVoice.

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