Hollywood preparing return to shooting with 3D location images

Myriad Studios in Australia offering Gold Coast photos as the country turns the coronavirus tide

By Chris Evans 20 Apr 2020

Hollywood preparing return to shooting with 3D location images
Austin Butler is playing Elvis in Luhrmann biopic

Queensland based Myriad Studios is offering 3D images of local scenery to Hollywood studios as they prepare for shoots post Covid-19.

Headed up by veteran location manager, Duncan Jones (Thor: Ragnarok, Aquaman), Myriad specialises in capturing environments, landscapes and structures using 3D laser scans and photographs, for applications in the television, film and gaming industries. The company is based at the Village Roadshow Studios.

“Now with the Covid-19 travel restrictions in place, we are getting requests from Hollywood to survey locations and supply 3D models,” enthuses Jones. “The directors and producers are putting on virtual reality headsets in L.A. and walking through potential locations. It’s the next best thing to being here, and they can do a huge amount of planning without the travel.

“Using LiDAR scanners and specialised cameras, the Myriad team create digital models of locations, props and sets,” Jones explains. “Our main customers have traditionally been the visual effects departments on major feature films, but now directors, producers and production designers are keen to use our skills and have us provide entire location options in advance of filming.”

Australia was hosting several major films when the virus struck, including Baz Luhrmann’s Untitled Elvis Presley Project, starring Tom Hanks and Austin Butler (as Elvis), which was filming in Queensland, and Marvel Studio’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which was filming at Fox Studios in Sydney.

Now the plan is for studios to return to the country once it’s safe to do so, and so these 3D images are proving very useful. Producer John Starke of Paramount Pictures says: Having this technology available locally in Queensland means that when we shoot a picture down there now, we save considerably on travel and accommodation costs for these teams. That’s a massive bonus for film production in Australia.”

Australia is expected to be hit hard by the lack of production activity with the damage estimated to cost more than $2bn, according to Screen Producers Australia. But there are signs that the tide is already slowly turning in the country and that productions could be back on the horizon with South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland reporting no new coronavirus cases. Some beaches in the south have already been opened for exercise purposes, including Coogee, Maroubra and Clovelly, and potentially Bondi beach.

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