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VFX Legion Expanding Pre-production Services as Demand Grows in Wake of COVID-19

Configured for fully remote working since they launched in 2013, the visual effects company is building out its pre-production services in response to increased demand from feature film and TV producers.

VFX Legion, the end-to-end production company that pioneered remote production when it launched in 2013 as a studio working exclusively with home-based artists, is building-out its pre-production services; the move comes in response to increased demand for cost-effective high-quality remote visual effects services as feature films and episodic series move forward in the wake of COVID-19.     

According to James David Hattin, the LA/BC-based company’s creative director and founder, “During pre-production, collaborating with writers and producers gives our team an in-depth understanding of the specific challenges and issues that projects face. Coming on board early in the process enables us to develop cost-effective digital solutions that increase production value and support storylines that engage audiences and optimize their visual experience.”

Hattin dedicated more than a year to building a pipeline with cost-effective, streamlined workflow and the collaborative virtual work environment that his next-generation remote business model provides. The studio has helped introduce a new visual effects production culture that harnesses digital connectivity's full potential to align its services with the needs of an industry in a digital era.

“Producing visual effects is a collaborative process with a lot of moving parts,” Hattin continues. “It takes considerable time to develop, hone, and road-test a remote pipeline to ensure it has the efficiency and accessibility needed to consistently deliver large shot counts of visual effects that meet tight deadlines and the high standards of the industry.”

He points out that COVID-19 has increased the demand for imagery that cameras are unable to capture in restricted production environments, raising the stakes for visual effects companies. With years of experience working with remote-savvy WFH (work-from-home) talent on dozens of films and hundreds of television episodes, VFX Legion focused on applying its technical ingenuity and creativity to developing efficient out-of-the-box digital solutions that meet the challenges of this new norm.

As production slowly begins to resume, the scope of practical footage will be limited by guidelines for shooting in studios and controlled spaces where precautions must be put in place to minimize health risks.  The demand for innovative visual effects that augment footage and support broader, more engaging storylines will be unprecedented. High-quality photorealistic CG environments, in particular, will enable productions shot in any space to transcend physical boundaries and transport live-action to virtually any location.

Hattin has built a global collective of more than 200 experienced work-from-home artists culled from an industry-wide pool of talent. “The efficiency, scope and scalability of our workforce uniquely positions us to push boundaries with dynamic digital solutions for television shows and feature films confined by a new normal,” he adds. “Collaborating with our team during the early stages of jobs ensures that projects take advantage of visual effects’ full potential and the flexibility of our cutting-edge remote capabilities as the pandemic continues to impact productions - and into a future with unanticipated challenges.”

The company’s credits include TV series such as How to Get Away with Murder, Madam Secretary, Scandal, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Suits, Eye Candy, Revolution, The Catch and Gone. Film credits include Hardcore Henry, The Gift, 12 Strong, Ithaca, Lowriders, Ouija, Ouija 2, Killers Anonymous, The Circle, The Keeping Hour, Souls of Totality, Stephanie, The Veil, #RealityHigh, After, Jem and the Holograms, Sinister 2, Ma, and Superfly.

Source: VFX Legion

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.