Ep 19: justsaying with Arvind Neelakantan, Epic Games – How Movie Making Is Evolving With Game Tech

Award-winning television series such as Game of Thrones, Disney’s The Mandalorian and HBO’s Westworld have all relied on groundbreaking virtual and real-time technology to create their stunning visual effects.

While green screen and CGI technologies aren’t new, virtual production tools are proving to be a gamechanger for the industry — enabling faster production workflows, in-camera visual effects, and collaborative post-production processes, all in real-time.

These technologies are fast revolutionizing the traditional filmmaking process and have already proven to streamline workflows, as well as reduce resources, with significant time and cost savings for filmmakers.

In fact, virtual production also proved critical in ‘saving’ the film industry during the pandemic. Production hurdles, which were tricky enough to navigate under regular conditions, were further exacerbated when Covid-19 halted most in-person shoots and productions on location.

However, virtual production enabled film crews to resume shoots remotely, and build and walk-through sets, and work more creatively and collaboratively than before. So, it’s little wonder that these next-gen tools are seeing rapid adoption across the media and entertainment sector.

Korean production company Westworld worked alongside director Lee Eung-Bok, who directed various K-drama hit series and Netflix’s popular original series, Sweet Home and were responsible for character design, prop design, storyboarding, previs, as well as the creation of digital creatures and overall VFX of the series.

Unreal Engine was used as the virtual production solution of choice due to Live Link, which provides the convenience of easily controlling the lighting and character location and size by linking external data such as cameras and motion capture which sped up communication and greatly shortened filming time by allowing the team to use film data during post-production.

We speak with Epic Games Tech Evangelist, Arvind Neelakantan, who shares his insights on how the evolution of game engines and technology have benefited the media and entertainment sector as well as the opportunities this presents for filmmakers.

Epic Games also sees the future of immersive media and entertainment further evolve through a Metaverse – an online world where creatives come together digitally, to develop, and work on media in the future.

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