Cutting Production Costs With Cheaper Previs?

At the Siggraph computer graphics conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Method Studios president Marc Weigert declared an ambitious goal: Make previsualization inexpensive enough to use for an entire feature film — more specifically, for the cost of no more than two shooting days.

That would permit complete films to be viewed as a rough animation — as animated features are today — before the actual shooting begins. Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” was previs’d just this way, but the process is now too costly.

“Almost every movie these days has expensive re-shoots, expensive re-doing of visual effects,” Weigert says. “By just doing (previs for the whole feature), you’ll save one or two shooting days. Even if you don’t actually save the shooting days, you’ll save the equivalent in post-production.”

Weigert proposes showing the previs to test audiences to find story problems.

To make his case, he points to an expensive issue that cropped up during test screenings of “2012”: A line early in the film mentioned spaceships being built to save a few people from an impending disaster. The ships turn out to be arks, not spaceships.

Test auds were confused when they didn’t blast off into space, so it became necessary to make a series of changes, and then schedule a day of photography to add a line of explanation.

“All that together could have been close to a million (dollars),” Weigert says. “If we had previs’d the entire movie, we would have gotten these comments (much earlier).”

More Artisans

  • SOW_04121.CR2

    Colors Play a Key Role in Production Design of Guillermo del Toro's 'Shape of Water'

    At the Siggraph computer graphics conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Method Studios president Marc Weigert declared an ambitious goal: Make previsualization inexpensive enough to use for an entire feature film — more specifically, for the cost of no more than two shooting days. That would permit complete films to be viewed as a rough […]

  • Films Balance Accuracy With Artistic License

    Artisans Balance Historical Accuracy With Audience Expectations in Awards-Contending Films

    At the Siggraph computer graphics conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Method Studios president Marc Weigert declared an ambitious goal: Make previsualization inexpensive enough to use for an entire feature film — more specifically, for the cost of no more than two shooting days. That would permit complete films to be viewed as a rough […]

  • Crew Re-Creates World War II London

    Crew Creates Shabby-Chic World War II London for 'Darkest Hour'

    At the Siggraph computer graphics conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Method Studios president Marc Weigert declared an ambitious goal: Make previsualization inexpensive enough to use for an entire feature film — more specifically, for the cost of no more than two shooting days. That would permit complete films to be viewed as a rough […]

  • The Disaster Artist BTS James Franco

    James Franco's 'Disaster Artist' Production Crew Lovingly Worked to Recreate 'The Room'

    At the Siggraph computer graphics conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Method Studios president Marc Weigert declared an ambitious goal: Make previsualization inexpensive enough to use for an entire feature film — more specifically, for the cost of no more than two shooting days. That would permit complete films to be viewed as a rough […]

  • Call me by your name art

    Luca Guadagnino Shares How His 'Call Me by Your Name' Crew Created '80s Love Story Look

    At the Siggraph computer graphics conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Method Studios president Marc Weigert declared an ambitious goal: Make previsualization inexpensive enough to use for an entire feature film — more specifically, for the cost of no more than two shooting days. That would permit complete films to be viewed as a rough […]

  • Justice League Iceland Locations

    Iceland’s 25% Incentives Combines With Spectacular Scenery to Lure Filmmakers

    At the Siggraph computer graphics conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Method Studios president Marc Weigert declared an ambitious goal: Make previsualization inexpensive enough to use for an entire feature film — more specifically, for the cost of no more than two shooting days. That would permit complete films to be viewed as a rough […]

  • Martin McDonagh three billboards outside ebbing

    'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' Production Team Builds a Sense of Place

    At the Siggraph computer graphics conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Method Studios president Marc Weigert declared an ambitious goal: Make previsualization inexpensive enough to use for an entire feature film — more specifically, for the cost of no more than two shooting days. That would permit complete films to be viewed as a rough […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content