The global film, TV and advertising industry is being transformed by Virtual Production and Australia’s TDC Studios is leading the way at home and abroad.
Virtual Production is a suite of interlocking tools and techniques that give filmmakers infinite creative possibilities while cutting the cost as well as the carbon footprint of conventional shooting on location.
The centerpiece of Virtual Production filming is a soundstage ringed by LED walls playing back video or computer-generated imagery which enables live performances to be captured with virtual content in astonishing realism.
TDC is at the forefront of the market. The Australian company, established since 1981, owns and operates purpose-built Virtual Production facilities in Sydney, supported by a world class team of experts. The team can partner with a production from concept to completion, while providing a deep knowledge of the processes and technology needed for video display, real-time rendering platforms, server hardware, playback platforms, camera tracking, remote connectivity, and content delivery.
It has delivered large scale Virtual Production facilities for TV, commercials, corporate films and blockbuster movies including Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder and hit psychological thriller Mercy Road, which was Australia’s first fully virtual production shoot. Mercy Road was released in Australia and the US in August, 2023.
VFX supervisor Andrew Robinson at VFX Studio Heretic Foundation worked on the filming of most in-car scenes for Mercy Road at TDC Studios. He said: “VFX creation and virtual productions are transforming the quality and speed of how productions are being made. They are also improving on-set decisions as well as team collaboration, unlocking more creative freedom for filming dynamic scenes.”
As demand has grown, so has TDC’s offering. TDC has supplied large LED volumes to create various virtual production stages in a variety of venues and warehouse conversions, including many of the stages at Disney Studios.
Michael Hassett, TDC’s founder and managing director, says the demand for creating any filming environment using virtual production has skyrocketed.
“Clients often come to TDC with a challenge that needs to be tested and resolved. Our team of engineers and project managers love that challenge and are committed to delivering technically complex solutions to fulfill any creative vision,” said Hassett.
To grow talent in the industry and attract more high-profile international projects to Australia, TDC supports a special training program for students and graduates of technical theater courses at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney with hands on experience of innovative immersive technologies.
TDC has been providing technology for the Australian film industry for many years dating back to movies such as Hacksaw Ridge, 2.22 and local dramas such as Sea Patrol, Squinters, No Activity and recently Mother and Son.