A series of MIPCOM Online+ sessions under the heading Tech & Creativity, will feature a number of case studies presented by experts from various aspects of the global content industry. Bill Baggelaar, executive vice-president and chief technology officer at Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), and executive vice-president and general manager of Sony Innovation Studios, presents The Future Of Movie Magic: Real-time Volumetric Virtual Production, focusing on the next-generation virtual production tools that will be key to the future of studios and the production industry.
Baggelaar’s current focus is on virtual film and video production and remote technologies. It is his stated mission to collaborate with key players on these technologies, which are taking on new meaning in the age of COVID-19.
The most important technological hurdles will revolve around keeping crew and talent safe while continuing to create high-quality shows – Baggelaar
He adds that studios are making alterations to their work systems that will allow “moving content creation workflows to the cloud”, an activity that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated.
But collaboration cannot be compromised: “There is no replacement for being able to collaborate and iterate on ideas and techniques to make the story better, the production better, a shot better,” he says. Meanwhile virtual production will continue to make strides. “Currently, we have our own Sony Innovation Studios, which is focused on bringing new technologies to production. We’re working on volumetric captures of real-world locations and film sets. This allows us to bring those assets to the controlled environment of a sound stage.”
The kind of technological advancements that will help the industry survive the COVID-19 era can also enhance storytelling, the core of the global content industry. “Virtual technologies can help to produce stories that might not otherwise have gotten told,” he says. “It helps in the creative process by allowing for early visualisation of what the final image may look like, which leads to better collaboration and ultimately a better product. We can also have a better environmental impact by reducing our carbon footprint, allowing production to take place where the talent is, rather than having to move an entire crew to particular locations around the world.”
Being able to share content remotely will remain an important aspect even as we move out of the COVID-19 era.
Technologies that foster the ability to collaborate and produce and share content remotely, virtually, are key to maintaining high quality and will become even more critical in the future – Baggelaar
Other sessions featured in the Tech & Creativity programme include focuses on: Virtual Production; Remote Shooting; Remote And Cloud Production; Real-Time VFX; AI & The Future Of Television Production & Distribution; And Blockchain And Its Benefits To The TV Industry.