Vfx and animation company, DNEG and XR entertainment studio, Dimension, have announced a virtual production partnership bringing together Dimension’s volumetric and real-time development capabilities with DNEG’s creative talent, tech teams and entertainment industry relationships.

Dimension and DNEG are working together on a number of high-profile virtual production projects, including a groundbreaking new short film, ‘Fireworks’, directed by double Academy Award winner and DNEG Creative Director Paul Franklin, produced by BAFTA Award winner Annalise Davis for Wilder Films, and written by screenwriter and playwright Steven Lally. The film is also supported by Epic Games, Lipsync Post Production and StoryFutures Academy.

Both companies have recently bolstered their virtual production capabilities in North America, with Dimension bringing on board Jim Geduldick as SVP, Virtual Production Supervisor and Head of Dimension in North America, and DNEG hiring James Sweeney as Virtual Art Department (VAD) Supervisor – both based on the US West Coast.

“This partnership helps position DNEG and Dimension at the forefront of what is possible in virtual production,” says 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 travelling. Dimension is one of the best in its field, and I’m delighted to be partnering with Simon, Steve and the Dimension team to bring our clients the benefits of this exciting technology.”

“DNEG is one of the world’s leading VFX companies, and we’re very excited to be partnering with them to provide filmmaking clients with the very best virtual production experience,” says Steve Jelley, Joint Managing Director, Dimension. “Game technologies like Unreal Engine are elevating the creative process for filmmakers and storytellers and we’re seeing a surge in demand for our virtual production and volumetric services – right across the entertainment sphere. These state-of-the-art production techniques point toward an exciting new era for content creation and our partnership with DNEG brings these services to an even wider set of clients across film, episodic and animated content.”

Dimension provides productions with custom-built LED stages and is finalizing plans for permanent virtual production stages in the UK and North America. The studio also recently unveiled its Polymotion Stage, a state-of-the-art mobile multi-solution studio capable of capturing high-quality volumetric video, image and avatar creation at up to 4K with integrated motion capture.

The Dimension team were early pioneers of real-time production for filmmaking and virtual reality, having launched the first ever VR experience to be officially certified by the British Board of Film Classification in ABE, and created industry defining XR experiences such as Madonna’s holograms at The Billboard Music Awards, ‘Britannia VR’, ‘Sky Scope’ for Sky Sports at The Open, ‘Virtual Vikings’ with Ridley Scott Creative Group and the Balenciaga Fall 2021 Collection video game.

DNEG has built on its experience of utilizing on-set digital front projection and LED video wall displays on Oscar and BAFTA-winning films such as ‘Interstellar’ and ‘First Man’ to develop a strong filmmaker-focused virtual production offering which has already been deployed on films such as Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’, ‘Death on the Nile’ for director Kenneth Branagh and ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ for director Andy Serkis.

Pic: © Wilder Films, photographer Tom Oxley

Jon Creamer