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

  • Australia's Production Incentives Include 16.5% Rebate

    Australia Offers Producers Exotic Locations, Film History and Generous Incentives

    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 […]

  • Glow Netflix Cosutmes

    'GLOW' Costume Designers on Revisiting the Flashy, Colorful '80s

    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 […]

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Virtual reality

    Nickelodeon's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Go Virtual at Comic-Con

    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 […]

  • Destan Arslanoski Stunt Performer

    Stunt Performers Say There's Not Enough Being Done to Address Risks of the Job

    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 […]

  • American Animals

    North Carolina Encourages Production by Raising Project Cap

    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 […]

  • (l to r.) Director Boots Riley

    Colors, Sounds Change With Lead Character in 'Sorry to Bother You'

    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 HANDMAID'S TALE Composer Adam TaylorPhoto

    'The Handmaid’s Tale’ Composer Adam Taylor Takes Cue From Elisabeth Moss

    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