The increased budgets and ambition of TV dramas over recent years, largely through FAANG investment and filtering down through traditional broadcasters, has led to a sharp increase in demand for feature film style visual effects in television programming. This half-day event explores how this demand is being fulfilled, how technology and the cloud is enabling high quality effects to be achieved on a range of budgets and what TV commissioners are looking for VFX to add to productions.
The VFX industry has benefitted from significant technology enhancements over recent years, enabling VFX houses to scale up and down to cater for the demands of VFX-heavy TV productions with relative ease. The lower cost and ease of accessibility of VFX software, the ease in which media can move around different parts of the post-production process, the lower cost of creating high-performance VFX workstations and the cap ex convenience of cloud-based rendering have all been welcome developments for VFX houses taking on TV productions. During this session, we discuss how technology enhancements have enabled VFX houses of all sizes to take on more TV work and fulfil client demand as well as enhance their bottom line.
The benefits of cloud-rendering
This session will be based on a number of case studies revealing how cloud-rendering has played an integral role in the smooth-running of VFX productions, and enabled facilities to take on work that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible/cost effective using only on-prem rendering. During the session, delegates will find out how cloud-rendering works, how material is moved on and off the cloud, the timescales involved in receiving renders, how to deal with rendering errors, how much cloud-based rendering services cost and whether there’s any future in maintaining on-premises rendering facilities. The case studies could include Milk VFX’s work on Dinosaurs in the Wild and Jellyfish’s Neanderthal project. Both projects fully utilised cloud-rendering platforms to enable them to complete extremely detailed and ambitious VFX work to the tight deadlines required by clients.
Where is the demand for high-end VFX coming from?
A number of facilities specialising in TV VFX present short showreels of their recent work and talk through the VFX requirements of each project. They will discuss why the client chose them for the work and why they think the VFX industry in the UK is benefiting from an influx of high-end VFX-heavy TV work. Issues likely to be under discussion include the high levels of internal investment coming into the UK through the weak pound and high-end TV drama tax breaks, the internationally acknowledged quality of the UK’s VFX sector, and the impact of higher production budgets from OTT services such as Netflix and Amazon on the amount of VFX work being commissioned. Companies that would be well suited to join this panel include Axis, One of Us and Blue Bolt.
TV Commissioners session
We bring together commissioners from leading broadcasters to talk through how VFX are giving them the edge when it comes to high-end drama and factual content. They will also discuss the content they are looking to commission with VFX at the heart, and how VFX are playing an increasingly prominent role in TV productions across different genres. Ideally, we’d be looking to get the BBC, C4 and Netflix involved in this session.