Digital set company open for business

Production veterans Elliott Jobe and Taylor Jobe have opened a company called There that specializes in digital sets and green-screen production.

The bicoastal shingle aims to provide an alternative to location-based production, combining the realism of live-action shoots with the flexibility of digital production, and making it possible to scenes that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive.

“With digital sets we can give our clients access and control of lighting,” said Elliott Jobe, creative director. “There offers another solution besides traditional vfx that also results in a big production and great production value. We combine on-set technology with digital sets using assets we capture or create, as well as existing assets we repurpose.”

The company’s early projects include commercials for Virgin America and Crystal Geyser, featuring digital sets of a plane interior and a modern kitchen, respectively; and a “Rock Center” promo with Brian Williams, featuring digital sets of seven production floors at Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center – including stages of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” – that made it possible to schedule shooting with multiple celebrities.

The company is based on the premise that even in a production climate characterized by tight schedules and shrinking budgets, clients should not have to compromise on creative. “You can be inside the Louvre, Red Square or Grand Central Terminal in one afternoon,” says Taylor Jobe, business development director. “Those are pretty amazing options. Our studio is a hybrid of practical and digital technology, which many live-action productions tend to approach separately.”

There provides an environment in which both director and d.p. can interact with talent on green-screen as if they were shooting at an actual location. This allows the director to work with actors on performance surrounded by “real” objects in the frame versus a typical green-screen situation with limited contextual reference. Similarly, a d.p. can calibrate which lens to use and how to light a scene based on actual distances and images within the digital set versus the type of estimating usually done with green-screen.

“The technology used on-set showed me exactly what the end result would look like,” said director Jim Jenkins of O Positive, who worked with There on the Virgin America spot via Y&R NY. “Elliott made it all very simple and the plane interior looked great.”

Other There clients include Bravo, LucasFilm, Geico and Warner Bros.

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