Virtual reality was until recently the preserve of the creators of video games, but producers believe that this technology is about to explode and revolutionize the way of doing television.
CBS Digital studio in Los Angeles, leading the field, has developed “Parallax”, a virtual reality system with which there will be no need to go turn on the field.
The California company has scanned laser many places in the United States and may affix on geometric shapes detected high resolution images that give virtual sets in three dimensions in which players can play. Without having to leave the studio so.
Thus, in the CBS Studios in Los Angeles (Southwest US), two actors play in a room covered with green walls, with cameras mounted on the ceiling. But what the director sees on her monitor, it is these characters holding hands above the Niagara Falls or in front of the Eiffel Tower.
“The main advantage is to be able to bypass traditional restrictions that filmmakers have to face,” says Craig Weiss, creative director of CBS Digital. “You do not have to go to film at night, you are able to lead the world in the studio, so you have more flexibility and can work much faster.”
Above all, Parallax allows the CBS studio to make big savings: a significant portion of production costs is indeed devoted to book locations and make it to film. These costs multiply when not until it stops raining, or that the light is exactly the same as the day before.
Virtual sets Parallax allow producers to shoot in one day what would take three weeks in traditional outdoor settings, says the studio. And production teams can be halved.
According to Craig Weiss, a handful of technicians recently worked meticulously mapped two blocks in New York (northeast), every corner, every crack, every cornice, in less than 14 hours.
“After an initial investment, the cost of using the virtual studio can, in some cases, help save 100% of costs filming on site,” said George Bloom, executive producer at CBS Digital.
Mr. Bloom believes Parallax also allows directors to take control, “When you are a director, you sometimes have the feeling of not being able to control everything, because you rely on a company that will make you special effects and you have no idea of what it will look like five or 10 days “.
The series “The Last Man On Earth” from Fox and “American Housewife” ABC have both started using Parallax.
HOLLYWOOD IN A BOX
CBS Digital already provides a variety of special effects to the Amazon series “Transparent”, or of Netflix “Daredevil,” “Stranger Things” and “Jessica Jones”.
The only limitations of virtual reality on television are those of the human imagination, says Mr. Bloom.
The new generation of virtual reality devices is born in 2010 from the imagination of an American teenager, Palmer Luckey He had then built a prototype that would ultimately become the Oculus Rift headset.
Palmer Luckey, who is now 24 years old, weigh 700 million dollars. Through a crowdfunding campaign, he had raised funds to produce this serial device. Facebook did not take long to locate the vein, disbursing two billion dollars in 2014 to buy the company of the young man.
Technology, popular with gamers, is growing rapidly but is still in its infancy, and CBS Digital, the transfer of virtual reality to television will have profound consequences.
George Bloom, the ultimate goal is that anyone with a good idea and talent could one day without having to worry about budget issues, re-create “Hollywood in a box” and turn all in one studio.
“A studio is a nice, comfortable place to work, and it can become Paris, New York, the future …”, he concluded.