As we continue to meet people from teams all around the business, Andy Elliott tells us what it's like working as a lead virtual studio developer.
Making the switch from games to broadcast was without a doubt my greatest challenge professionally. I'd reached a point in my career where I needed a change, but my skills were specific to game development. There were a few options for someone with my knowledge of design and game engines, mainly around arch-vis or interactive entertainment, but there weren't many vacancies. It was through an industry contact that I ended up making the move to dock10 and starting a whole new career.
Most of the projects I worked on in the games industry were multi-platform AAA titles with large teams and years of development. The shortest ran for about eight months with a team of 60. Since moving to the broadcast industry, the most extended project I've worked on ran for six months with a team of around 15. Virtual production is an industry in its infancy, so by necessity, we run smaller, more agile teams to deliver projects.
The key to loving what you do is to enjoy the process. In my role, I'm involved in every stage, from initial conversations with a client to deployment, and I enjoy it all. But I'll admit that seeing your work in a gallery as the production team makes their show is particularly special.
A lot of clients come to us with preconceived ideas of virtual production, sometimes that's helpful, and sometimes it's not. I think a lot of it comes from social media. Someone might see a short behind-the-scenes clip of The Mandalorian and assume the technology will work for their show, which might not be the case. For example, a lot of clients ask about LED volumes, which work great for single-camera drama but not for multi-camera shoots – not yet anyway. This is where collaboration is key, we're happy to advise the pros and cons of any approach, but it helps to be involved in these conversations as early as possible.