'Tenet' VFX House Forms Virtual Production Partnership (Exclusive)

'Fireworks' behind-the-scenes image.
Courtesy of DNEG

Behind the scenes on the short 'Fireworks.'

London-headquartered visual effects house DNEG — whose credits include Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and Tenet — has partnered with XR entertainment studio Dimension to offer virtual production capabilities to filmmakers around the world by sharing their technology, workflows and expertise.

They are already offering virtual production services on several undisclosed projects in addition to a new short, Fireworks, directed by two-time Academy Award winner and DNEG creative director Paul Franklin. Fireworks is a political thriller set simultaneously in an MI6 ops room and on the ground in Tripoli, written by Steven Lally and produced by Annalise Davis through Wilder Films. The short is a collaboration with Epic Games (maker of the Unreal real-time game engine), London-based Lipsync Post Production and StoryFutures Academy, which provided funding, technology or services.

Dimension's services include volumetric video capture as well as custom-built LED stages. It's finalizing plans for permanent virtual production stages in the U.K. and North America.

Both companies have each recently bolstered their virtual production capabilities in North America, with Dimension bringing on board Jim Geduldick as senior virtual production supervisor and head of Dimension in North America, and DNEG hiring James Sweeney as virtual art department supervisor.

DNEG reported that its virtual production services had already been used on several upcoming films: Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Kenneth Branagh's Death on the Nile and Andy Serkis' Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Said DNEG CEO Namit Malhotra: “Our industry is evolving quickly, accelerated by the changes brought about by the global pandemic. This new creative process enables fresh approaches to the production of filmed content, opening more creative avenues for our filmmaking partners and addressing a number of the limitations imposed by the current restrictions on being on-set and traveling."