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  3. This is how Netflix and Disney hits were shot! A giant screen used for the production of virtual film sets is under creation in Wroclaw

This is how Netflix and Disney hits were shot! A giant screen used for the production of virtual film sets is under creation in Wroclaw

Robert Migdał,

The photo shows a large screen made of LED screens used to create a virtual film set Robert Banasiak
The photo shows a large screen made of LED screens used to create a virtual film set

It has an area of over 100 sq.m. and will certainly attract filmmakers from around the world to Wroclaw. In the Audiovisual Technology Centre, Poland’s biggest stationary screen for virtual production used in films is under assembly. This kind of equipment was used, e.g., for shooting Netflix and Disney hits!

What is virtual production? A very realistic-looking set is displayed on the big screen: a wall built of large-format LED screens connected to computers.

In the past, the mobile set in front of which actors played (e.g., they rode horses, and a moving landscape of trees and houses was displayed on the canvas) was displayed on big canvas screens; today, the mobile set is displayed on huge LED screens.

‘This opens completely new possibilities for filmmakers,’ they add. 

Big crates with the state-of-the-art equipment have already arrived in Wroclaw to the buildings of the former Feature Film Studio (today the Audiovisual Technology Centre CeTA).

And the equipment that has been delivered to Wroclaw is impressive. The area of the screen itself will exceed 100 square metres! Such a giant needs adequate infrastructure and study space. Therefore, the Audiovisual Technology Centre joined forces with Virtual Magic Studio – a company with Wroclaw roots in order to create a unique place with truly Hollywood possibilities.

‘Virtual Magic has specialised in 3D animation and the design of virtual film sets for over 25 years. Until recently, it was a very time-consuming process that required many hours of computer calculations. Today, this process can be largely shortened and, instead of using a green or blue background that is later replaced with a set, we can display it with a variable perspective directly behind the actor in the studio,’ says Daniel Zduńczyk, Virtual Magic Studio.

The first project using VP technology on a large scale was The Mandalorian – the first actor series set in the Star Wars universe. The production debuted on the Disney+ platform in 2019.

‘The Virtual Production technology revolutionised the film industry. The popular green/blue screen, which CeTA also has, is frequently often replaced with a high-resolution LCD screen, and images and films displayed on it look very realistic. This allows us to reduce, for example, costs of organising shots in locations, building a physical set and subsequent postproduction works,’ says Robert Banasiak, the director of CeTA.

‘By means of virtual scenography, we can easily create not only the “unreal world”, but also take a fully “real” walk along the streets of Rome or London, record a police chase on Times Square in New York, or “land” on the Moon without leaving the studio,’ he adds.

A few such studies already exist in Europe, and now they come into being in Poland. One of the most recent hit series on the Netflix platform – 1899 – was created largely in this technology, where part of the ship was built, with the sea displayed around it on the screen.

Filmmakers have already experimented with the use of LED screens in The Jungle Book, Gravity or The Lion King.

This screen helps Wroclaw and CeTA mark an even stronger presence on the world map of locations where it is possible to create top-level film production.

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