Entertainment & Content

How Filmmaking Becomes Socially Distanced: Tech Takes Center Stage

Overview Gaming technologies and more have helped studios adapt to new health and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Technology has continued to change the way filmmakers produce movies, helping to scout locations, create real-time visualizations and more.

The onset of the COVID-19 outbreak introduced new health and safety measures that disrupted traditional filmmaking processes, and studios have turned to virtual production tools to make sure the show goes on.

From more intricately incorporating computer-generated imagery (CGI) to using gaming tech, filmmakers are harnessing the power of technology to maintain the magic of movies.

From the Computer Screen to the Big Screen

Though not a new concept for Hollywood, dating back to productions such as The Fellowship of the Ring and Avatar, virtual production found a home in creating new worlds for the gaming industry, accelerating beyond traditional green screens.

Now augmented by virtual reality tools, virtual production — the process of shooting film in digitally generated environments — is allowing filmmakers to create realistic scenes that blend seamlessly with socially distant live action shoots.

Instead of crowding onto a single set, with virtual production techniques, actors are able to interact live within a 3D environment projected onto surrounding LED screens while a remote crew controls lighting, camera positions and more in real time.

Real or Computer-Generated?

Paired with computer-generated scenery, these LED walls can show realistic scenes such as crowded stadiums.

Though many may still think of CGI as used only for creating images of dinosaurs or animating realistic lions, the technology has also been used to create body simulations, special effects in makeup and other less obvious applications.

CGI can help keep crews separated, replace the need for extras during scenes, and enable actors to social distance to shoot scenes where they would normally be in close proximity to other actors.

Allowing producers to communicate remotely with their actors, enabling post-production edits without re-filming and more, technology is helping movie makers reimagine the film production process in a safe and controlled environment.


Learn more about other technologies in action in filmmaking.