[SCC] Visual Effects Using Real-Time Technology (with American Sign Language) | Sony Official
Thank you very much. Good morning, everyone. Thank you all for coming to this session. My name is Guy Wilday.
I'm the VP of Interactive Technology for Sony Pictures. I'm really excited to have this opportunity to share with you this real-time technology proof of concept project that we've been working on. We have a fantastic lineup of panelists. But before we start the discussion, I just wanted to give you a brief introduction to the project, and we're going to start with a short behind the scenes video. Our goal at Sony is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology.
And this project speaks to the very heart of this mission. We wanted to push the limits of what is possible with current real time game engine technology and to see if we could direct a traditional visual effects shop live on a motion capture stage. Film production involves many creative disciplines, all collaborating together to bring the director's vision to life.
So it was important for us to find the right partners for this project. We approached Jason Reitman and the Ghost Core team who provided the creative vision. Pixelmondo, who bring their visual effects and real-time expertise. PlayStation Studios, who would provide the motion capture experience and their world class mocap stages. And Epic Games, whose Unreal technology would power this experience.
So the Ghostbusters Real-Time Project is one of the most incredible pieces I've seen in a long time. It really brings out the capabilities of Unreal Engine and shows that it's possible to have final pixel quality in a fully synthetic environment. So it is taken this extremely abstract art, visual effects, and turned into something that's tangible. It's also brought visual effects artists, like our friends at Pixelmondo to the stage, to the set, where we all work together in one unified environment. What was exciting about this project was the opportunity to really push Unreal to deliver photorealism in real time.
As a director, there's nothing more important to me than performance. Pixelmondo gave me the opportunity to direct a real-life actor and get a performance out of a digital character that I would have never been able to do if I was standing over an artist's shoulder. I mean, the benefit was really clear.
You know, all we want as a filmmakers is to have more time and more scope. It's the idea that I could be on a stage and be able to set the time of day, direct my actor and not worry about what time rush hour was going to be, what time the sun was going to go down. To have control over the environment like that really changed my view about what was possible. This has been an amazing collaboration, and a testament to what is possible when different Sony groups focused together around a single shared goal. We are all excited for what we can do next.
So at Sony Pictures, we've been following the uses of real time technology for film and television production for a little while, and there are some notable real time milestones. The first is Madison Beer, the immersive reality concert experience with Sony Music. This is a seven minute music video created completely using real time technology, includes a digital double of Madison and a virtual recreation of the Sony Music Hall in New York. Next came The Matrix Awakens from Epic Games, and this was a demo on PlayStation 5 to showcase the latest features of Unreal Engine 5.
And this was a fantastic showcase for photo-real movie content running in real time. Last year our friends at Sony Pictures Imageworks released In Vaulted Halls Entombed, part of the Love, Death, and Robots series. And this animated short was created completely end to end using Unreal Engine.
And all of this inspired us earlier this year to embark on our own real time proof of concept and to really see how far we could push the technology and if it would be possible for us to direct what would normally be a post VFX shot live on a motion capture stage. So we had the fantastic opportunity to partner with Jason Reitman and the Ghost Core team. Jason kindly wrote the initial script and we went through a traditional storyboarding process. And from that point on, everything went into the game engine. We virtually scouted all of the locations within the virtual environment. We built animatic sequences to start building out the content we needed within the engine for the final shoot.
We did technical preparation on the mocap stage where we integrated render hardware and our Vcam system and then finally brought all this together for the production shoot itself to capture the content for our shot. So this is the city sample from Epic Games. It's a four kilometer square city environment. It's got photo-real textures. It has dynamic lighting.
It's got a completely active traffic and pedestrian system. And this was the sandbox that we used to plan our shoot. And within that we virtually scouted each of the locations to match the storyboards. We got a lot of feedback that people thought we'd actually drawn the storyboards from the environment.
But the CG sample gave us all the flexibility that we needed to find our shot locations. And then the Pixelmondo team incorporated film VFX assets into the real time environment. Rigging, in this case the iconic Ecto, so that it would drive and behave realistically within the city.
As well as modifying the traffic system to give us some additional control and flexibility for the driving scenes. And then after this preproduction phase, we moved onto the mocap stage to start to integrate all of our real time technology ahead of the shoot. And this is where the magic really happened. Seeing high quality rendered output in real time on the preview monitors, and the amazing opportunities that this would give a director like Jason to be able to tell his stories.
So before we talk to the panel, I wanted to share with you for the very first time the final completed short form. Everyone I run into. What we need is local control. If there's something strange in your neighborhood. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! If there's something weird, and it don't look good Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! I ain't afraid of no ghost If you see a thing running through your head Who can you call? Ghostbusters! An invisible man sleeping in your bed Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! I ain't afraid of no ghost Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! If you're all alone pick up the phone And call... Ghostbusters! Okay.
Thank you, everyone. If you would, please join me in welcoming to the stage, Jason Reitman. If you don't mind, Mahmood Rahnama from Pixelmondo. David Murrant from PlayStation Studios, and Miles Perkins from Epic Games. All comfortable? Thank you so much for finding the time to join today. Really appreciate you taking the time out.
Yeah, of course. Such an exciting project for you all to be involved in. So thank you so much for that. Jason, I'd love to start with you. If you don't mind, I'd really like to kind of, I guess, walk through the journey that we've been on with this project.
I'd love to go back to the start and maybe to get some of your thoughts. When we originally pitched the concept into you, the idea of doing this. Talk a little bit about that process, what you were thinking, what excited you to get involved with this project from start? I mean, I think what excited me the most is I knew the least about this. When you started explaining, I had no idea what you were talking about. So, look, my background is actually, you know, independent film.
If you look at every movie I made before Ghostbusters, I had made eight movies before Ghostbusters, and I'd spent my entire directing time, maybe three days on a soundstage because everything I had ever shot in my life was out in the real world on location. And I think I always kind of felt like I thrived on that. So the idea of shooting in a virtual environment, it felt very foreign, but it was also really exciting because I know what it's been like to be in a live location that is uncontrollable, where you're running out of time and running out of light and you're dealing with pedestrians and cars and the city and all that stuff. And the first time you took me down to look at that virtual city, that Matrix city, I couldn't quite believe conceptually how exciting and thrilling it was to be on a on a virtual tech scout, to be just, let's go down this street. Let's turn right. Let's, you know what? It's 2 p.m. in there?
Let's make it 5 p.m.. Where is the sun coming from? Those kinds of choices were were really thrilling. And as a storyteller, it kind of expanded my ability to kind of see right in front of me what I could get.
And I remember that session when we screened that city for you, and we were kind of wandering around. I remember going right down to crisp packets on the street and you finding buildings that I think you remembered, as parts of New York that you'd seen and that you'd kind of use for locations. I think I think that was a great opportunity to start to see that environment and start to understand some of the early possibilities as to what we might be able to do. Yeah, and even just I remember saying, you know, there's too many two way streets, you know, if this is supposed to be Manhattan, we need more one ways. Yeah, we could do that.
We can make one way streets. I was like, oh, okay. Yeah. Side alleys. I remember that being another. Oh, yeah, there's no alleyways in New York City. This is a common misnomer.
I feel like there's so many movies where in New York City where a scene takes place in an alleyway, Spider-Man movies, things like that. And there's actually only one alleyway in all of Manhattan. And like anything that's ever been shot in New York City, it was like a Law and Order or whatever is like, it's all in this one block, one alleyway. So you were very gracious with your time. We went through a pre-production process ahead of time, and then we had a lot of meetings, kind of working with the Pixelmondo team, taking your script and taking the storyboards and obviously kind of bringing them into the digital world, bringing them into the engine, incorporating them into the city environment. Do you want to talk a little bit about those meetings and any thoughts on on that process? Yeah, well, I mean, I think there was a learning curve on both sides.
You know, I remember showing up with this virtual city and I remember some of the guys being like, all right, where do you want to put the camera? And I was like, Whoa, whoa, whoa. I need like, I need storyboards first. And they're like, okay, well, you could just that here.
It's like, well, it's not how my brain works. And we had to kind of step back for a second. And it was kind of an interesting moment on both sides because I felt like at first I was like, oh, clearly, I'm just going to be the student here and who's going to teach me how this all works. And then I realized, oh, no, let me teach you a little bit about how we do things on set as well.
And traditionally, I work with the storyboards, you know, who who will do drawings of the frames. And then what I'll do on my films, is I'll go to those locations with stand ins and I'll give the stand-ins the script and I'll have them start doing the scene and I'll have just a digital still camera and I'll start taking photos of the stand ins at the exact location, lens height, and usually on a matching lens on my still camera. And we create what are called photo boards for for the crew. And the crew can then look through the photo boards and not only see what a storyboard would show, but they would see, "Oh, this is actually what the lens would look like with a character in that location. And they can kind of build around that. And what I found we were doing was now replacing that photo board experience, taking the storyboards and going into that virtual city and now setting up a virtual camera with that lens, putting a stand in virtual character there and being able to create boards that way.
And I think like you say, there was a lot of to and fro there I think it was learning from both sides. I think the storyboard process going through that process with you was a huge learning for me and seeing how fast you could edit those storyboards. I remember being a moment for sure as part of the process and, and you're right, I think all of those weeks of kind of understanding what you needed and what you were looking for within the environment was hugely helpful to delivering the final short. I think the fast the word fast is the key word. I think we all know what it's like to go from the moment you're writing something by hand, to once you're typing it, if you're writing a script, it's almost as if the computer can start working as fast as your brain is working, even on rewriting a sentence, you can develop the sentence faster, the paragraph faster, or the essay fast or whatever you're writing. And the thrilling part of this is you're developing the story faster by your ability to move the camera, move around the city faster, because now things are moving as fast as your brain.
Yeah, Yeah. So let's talk about the shoot day, which was a really special day. I think we'd obviously done all the prep leading up to that. Talk about your impressions when you arrived on the mocap stage for the first time.
And what were your expectations about that day? Well, first of all, it's like, lovely, you know? You know, I'm used to and look, I love old Hollywood. I love the old stages of Hollywood. So I do like those, like 1930s buildings with old wooden rafters with scary graffiti up there and like, you know, and everything feels a little bit like a tinderbox. But this was like it was like this carpeted room with air conditioning.
And there's like, my first impression I was like, Oh, I can direct in my socks. This is like, really nice. But then also from just, obviously from a technology point of view, which I think is probably more what you care about than my level of comfort level filmmaking was the idea that not only could I experience and look, I had done this a little bit, I visited, you know, Jon Favreau's stage and I've seen a little bit of what it's like to hold a virtual camera. But now we were we were running back the scene in real time. I was directing an actor in real time, and I was able to stand on a New York City street, a place where I could never do this in a natural way. If we're shooting in New York City, like we just did on this last Ghostbusters film, you're thinking about how many shots you can get done in a day. And in New York City, it's very few, because you are very limited in scope.
And there is a kind of a natural flow of traffic and pedestrians. You have to let traffic go every once in a while. There's so many obstacles to shooting there. And you know, you're lucky if you can get six, eight shots in a day there. And here we shot this entire thing, like everything you just watched, we did in a day. And that includes shots that are where a crane would be, in shots where a helicopter would be in, shots on building rooftops, and shots that are done all over the city, and shots where the camera is locked on to a car and shots...
I mean, think about just the variety of shots and the amount of just rigging that would be required to do all that stuff. That's that's what kind of blew me away. Yeah. Yeah.
And what was it like working with, I guess, real time preview, being able to see the performance immediately in the V cam monitor and on the preview monitors? Yeah. I mean, look, I think the truth is that it's a preview of what is to come and you know I would love Stay Puft to be more emotionally responsive to the actor, but you can see where it's going. There's this possibility of working with real talent and working with an actor, which is, you know, what I'm used to doing and getting a real time translation between what the actor is doing and what your digital character is doing.
And as a filmmaker, that's what I'm always looking for, is I am I have a story in my head, but I'm not a gifted actor, not a gifted musician. I'm not a gifted, you know, seamstress or set builder or an I can't draw to save my life. Literally, I would die. So anything that brings me closer to getting my vision onto a screen so you can feel what I'm hoping you'll feel is making me a better storyteller. Yeah, and I think that that really came across in the shoot day, I think was obviously the connection that you were looking to make with the actor during the day and the performance that you were looking to to get. We've talked a little bit for that previous VFX work you've done to try and capture those.
Do you want to talk a little bit about that and how that differs from your experience on the on the mocap set? I think it's just time and look, I want to be really clear. I love filmmaking in real places with real actors. So for me, this is not a substitute. If I were to make Juno again today, I would make Juno exactly the same way.
What I see here, what thrills me, is if I wanted to make a movie like Juno that took place in ancient Rome, I wouldn't be able to do that because it would cost $200 million to make Juno. And that's not cost effective. There's no studio who would sign up for that. You can make Ghostbusters for a lot of money, but you can't make an independent film in an unexpected location.
You can't make an independent film underwater, on the moon or, you know, a thousand years ago or into the future, and what thrills me about it is the possibility of independent filmmakers who want to tell their kind of stories, but in environments that they don't have access to with characters that they don't have access to, and the possibility of getting a whole new wave of stories that you could read in a book, but you would never actually get in a film What did you think of the final short? It's genuinely thrilling. And look, part of it is because I've only, you know, I've only done so much action and my relationship with car chases is more just I'm a fan of them. And to have directed one and see it on the screen and go, "Oh yeah, that's actually what I had in mind" is really thrilling, and I'm just genuinely blown away by the artists who I got to work with on this and their ability to make that car look as real as it is. I mean, there's shots of that car in that city that look so hyper real that you could cut them into the movie right now.
I mean, I'm not sure what your guy's experience was like, but when I watched that for the first time, I'm not saying every shot, but there is shots in there where you're locked on the corner of Ecto-1 and the antenna is buzzing and the reflections in the glass and the city flying by. And it's like, Yeah, that looks real. I would put that in a movie. So if anything, it's just I'm kind of in awe of the combination of artists who worked on this and the developers who created technology so that this could exist.
Yeah, Yeah, perfect. Thank you. And that's, that's probably a perfect segueway to move on to talk to Mahmoud about the team behind this and the creative group behind it. Do you want to talk a little bit about Pixelmondo and talk a little bit about your previous team, some of the previous work that you've done? Yeah, absolutely. So we have seven offices across Europe and North America and almost all of our offices are capable of producing high end previz. But the London team in particular, they're specialized in Vcam and real time previz and agile virtual production. And this being a real time project, we knew that we have to put the London team on the project.
It's a very small team but very agile, very collaborative and very efficient. And we were really lucky that we could block them because they're usually very busy with other shows. Earlier this year they finished Halo Season Two, doing previews in Unreal Engine and House of the Dragon. Sorry, Fantastic for me to get to work with some Brits again.
Yeah, which is always nice. So that was great. So I appreciate you very early on in this project, I remember reaching out and saying, we want to do this real-time test and you were immediately on board. You were super, super supportive. Absolutely.
Tell me about the excitement around that and really what drove you? I think I actually remember your first email. The subject line was Real-time project, and I remember replying immediately saying, "You had me at real-time." At Pixelmondo we're big believers of real time technology, and in the past few years we've been really trying to implement Unreal Engine into our workflow and pipeline. And when this project came along, I thought that this is the best project to be able to stress test our pipeline. And then later on we found out that it's Ghostbusters and Jason, it was definitely a dream come true. So we were really, really excited.
Yeah, Yeah. And the man and the team have worked extremely hard and there's been a lot of passion going into this, a lot of passion and hard work that's gone into this project for sure. So you were there throughout throughout the entire process. You were definitely there on shoot day. I'd love to get some of your takeaways from what it was like to be on the stage during that day.
What were some of the things you saw and some of your key take outs? So it was really eye opening for me. First of all, how fast Jason picked it up and started shooting. For me, that was that was really great. And coming from the traditional visual effects world, I remember the days that we would submit a Quicktime.
You know, the director or someone like Jason would look at it, you know, a few days later probably thinking that, no, this is not the right shot. Writing notes, like the back and forth that would take weeks, if not months. I could see that Jason just coming up with shots, back to back. And on top of that, the happy accidents that we got, for example, you know, we accidentally walked into a building, then saw outside from inside. And, you know, Jason's like,
this is such a cool shot. Let's, you know, shoot something like this and this wouldn't have never happened with traditional visual effects. So it was really good to see the, you know, how interactive and collaborative that it was. And how do you see... do you see more of this kind of technology
being used in VFX workflows? Yes, absolutely. And I think we're just scratching the surface. This is really going to take off from here. Very cool. Okay, awesome. Thank you for that. Dave, we've we've been talking about collaborating on a project for for a long time, so great to have you here.
Thank you so much for all of your support with the mocap facilites. So talk a little bit about your group and what you do them within PlayStation. So thanks, Guy. So Creative Arts is essentially an in-source team within PlayStation studios, which incorporates visual arts, sound, music and creative.
And one of our main assets is the mocap stages we have in L.A., which we built around for Naughty Dog. For those who played Uncharted, we built the stages for them, and then the God of War team started using them. So Santa Monica studio came in.
So we've been doing motion capture for about 20 some years and it was interesting you showed some of those the history line. You know, we worked on the Madison Beer project with Sony Music. We worked on the the piece for Love, Death and Robots. So we had a lot of experience going into this project with those projects behind us. And so when you came to they said, "We want to do this" We thought, oh, we already understand most of this.
And we were working with Unreal Engine at that point as well. So plugging the pieces in and just getting ready for when Jason came on and the team arrived at the stage, we felt pretty prepared, but just don't know what to expect on the day. And especially it's interesting for actors to be in a space that doesn't really have anything physical, you know, desks or chairs. You're in a void in some ways. So you need a great director to show you how and where you should be setting and where you're placing are. Or having somebody who can come in and then direct directly there and say, "Oh, no, you need to move here.
I'm going to change the camera." It's really impressive to see it. And I see we just keep building upon this. So this is just another demo in a long line of things I think we're going to be able to do, and especially as we move closer to a photorealistic ability as well. Yeah, and I mean, you have an incredibly experienced team. They were they were fantastic for providing us whatever resources we need.
And like you say, being able to translate some of the virtual environment into the physical world so that we could get that connection during the shoot. And I think they've got a lot of passion about film and games and that kind of connection. Do you want to do you want to speak to some of some of that, some of their enthusiasm around this project? Yeah, you know, the team. Chuck, Gizelde and the team on the mocap stage was super excited to see this. I mean, we've been talking about convergence of film and games forever.
Back to my first game I worked on was Bram Stoker's Dracula. You look back at that now, and you look at the pixels on that game, all you see is giant blocks moving around, which could be a monster, but you don't know. So now we have this photorealism and we were talking earlier about hair and how you can get motion and you can get real performance that have a connection with people. And so I think these technologies are emerging. And whether and I'm curious with Jason, you know, you said it was great being on the stage, but as an indie maker filmmaker, were able to just like jump around and change the shots as you went? You weren't stuck to your storyboards, the timing? I think that's really well said. And I think that, you know, the filmmaking, and I think the creation of art in general, is this mixture of preparation and practice when it meets accidents.
And that's where the thrilling stuff comes. I've met very few filmmakers who said, you know, "yeah, we had a plan for the film, we executed the plan perfectly, and that's what resulted. And that's why the movie is so good." You know, every story you hear when you talk to a filmmaker is like, "Yeah, I always thought it's going to be this one thing. And then this other thing happened." It started to rain, or the actor was sick, or the car ran out of gas and we ran out of film.
And then all of a sudden you're reacting in real time and it's that, "Oh shit!" part of your brain that kicks in that comes to save you. And and you come up with something unusual that delights you and ends up becoming what makes the movie magical. So, yeah, the thrilling part of me was moving around with this really light camera, and I forgot about that moment. You're 100% right. We had never planned to go inside a building, and I remember going, "I can go inside the building?" And it's like, you know, and again, if you're shooting a movie, you can't just start opening people's apartments, and being like, "Hey, I'm going to do a shot from inside your window, is that cool?" And so the idea that now we're inside, we're getting this perspective of Stay Puft walking by. And now I'm telling the actor, hey, "Take a look inside the window and I'm gonna try to catch you, like looking inside the window and maybe cock your head a little and then I'll look down.
Doing all that stuff in real time. On the same day that we're doing a car spinning around a corner and, you know, like ten other different beats. And that was, that's what made it great. Miles, Kim had some really nice words to say in the early BTS video about this, about this project. Talk a little bit about what this project's been exciting for you.
You know, coming from a visual effects background and also being a part of a company that ultimately, it's a games company, but a bit of the leadership has a film background, and understanding what goes into telling a story, the happy accidents, the challenges that you have sometimes, and in trying to convey a message to a team of people. The challenge you have and how many times you could iterate on something. It was really exciting to start to see the process whereby you're able to strip away all of those quite terrible byproducts of having to post-render something and just put something in Jason's hands so that he can explore. And for us, that's just absolutely an amazing thing. And it's not only from the perspective of rendering.
It's actually from the perspective of "no, this is actually a physical world that has physics." And if/then happens, and all of these other things that I think, again, like Mahmoud said, we're just scratching the surface on what this really is going to be. So, you know, for us to see this, not only is it is it really exciting to see what can be done now, but it invigorates us to go back and the developers to start creating things for that next thing and the next. It's funny because I always kind of draw the correlation to and a car like the Ecto, like you have to drive that car. Like there's not much stuff in it that helps you drive it.
You have to drive it. And nowadays there are cars that we all have now that kind of drive for you a little bit, so a terrible driver can drive pretty well. And I think not that necessarily that there are terrible people there, but how can you get someone to engage so that the technology falls away? Right? So that just the poetic nature of telling a story is in the forefront and that everyone who is experts in their field is able to contribute.
That's that, like, forget about it. That's awesome. That's just amazing. And how important - happy accidents has come up a couple of times. How important is real time to that process, do you think? I think it's absolutely critical again, and in visual effects, we've been building 2D images, and you know how many shots and "nope, you can have four shots, you can't have five." And like you have this and everything's budgeted that way.
But what happens when you enable teams to make the four square miles and that we can go around and start to look at things the way you would in the real world. And to me, that is just it's so incredibly freeing and also to be able to, you know, move the the team and everybody and do a set like somewhere else where you got a crane and you have all these other things. I think it's really empowering. There was a filmmaker that I heard from and he said that he, with a very small team, plans everything and has it all written down and everything. And when he goes in to shoot, he puts it in a drawer, his plan, and then goes in and just shoots. Right? And that's just because it's like, "okay, I know that I can do it all, but no, I'm going to work with the team and we're all going to bring our best self to the set and we're going to do something that is going to happen in that moment."
And to me, that's what artistry, and that's what creativity is all about, really. Creative is a process and not everybody has the same process. But how do you free that process up for anybody to participate? Again, I get excited about this stuff. It's amazing. Again, I've been here since the early nineties at SIGGRAPH. This is a whole 'nother world now, it's amazing.
And the city asset obviously is been very important. You mentioned earlier, a shooting location certainly saved us a lot of time. Got us a really good head start on this project. Talk about the importance of that asset, releasing that asset into the world and again, what way you think that process is going to go with these large photo real assets.
I think we've we've been kind of insular in how we approach things where everything is proprietary and it doesn't serve the the purpose of the community. We've always had backlots and that alley you're talking about, you know, has been shot so many different ways and it's such... you can actually buy trash for that alleyway, which is another amazing thing. There's there's someone who has a whole business behind cleared trash that you can put in the alleyway.
But again, there are all these things that you have and ways of going about, shooting and everything. And I think for us being able to free that up and being able to give something like that city sample and then starting to see how other people are using it, that is really exciting because I think we are a community, bringing people together, that's what filmmaking is. It's a community of people coming together and coming at it from a hyper proprietary way, it doesn't serve everyone always. So I encourage people to share and see what someone can do after. Very cool. Yeah. And obviously we're very grateful for that.
You know, you're putting that sample out into the world for sure. It's been it's been a lot of fun walking around those streets. I think one of the things that most excited me about this project has been the opportunity to collaborate with so many different groups and I think bring those groups together to deliver this project. So question for anyone, really, I would love your thoughts on how this collaboration has been and what it's been like to have all these groups collaborating.
Jason, I don't know if you want to talk about what it's been like working with these teams? I mean, I'll be honest, this was an introduction for me to almost all these groups. So again, I feel like I come from a very traditional form of filmmaking. So this was very eye opening.
As far as the possibility, I had no idea how developed Unreal was, and a real time city, the first time you toured me through that city, I just genuinely couldn't believe it. And I play a lot of real world video games, so it's not as though, like I'm unaware of this stuff, but the idea that it could be incorporated into storytelling was was eye opening. Yeah, I think it was pretty great. I think every group brought a very unique perspective and their expertise, and I think we all learned a lot from each other. One thing I learned from Jason that in the beginning we were trying to make the virtual camera really small, very light.
First thing Jason said, "No, I like the weight. I want that." So, you know, when you start collaborating, these are things that you need to know. Yeah, I think back to you Guy, I mean, you had a vision of what this could be and you had the ability to look across the Sony entities and see who could pull into this project. And that took somebody like at that vision and drive to see that through.
Because as I still do this, I've been with Sony forever and I'm still picking up rocks and going, "What's this under here? Who's doing that over here?" And there's a lot of that, so having somebody who can oversee that and say, okay, we can pull these threads and create something unique. But yeah, it was great working with the different teams. You know, we've not had access to each other because everybody's somewhat siloed, so we're breaking some of that down. So yeah, that's what's exciting. Yeah. Thank you. I love the feedback, to be honest, is that seeing what works and what doesn't work and getting ideas and you know, Jason's approach is different than someone else's approach and you're learning every single time you go through that.
So and again, working with the Pixo team and seeing people who have been a little bit more traditional in the past, just absolutely enthusiastic about doing something in a very, very different way and seeing that that kind of spark that I remember from early days of CG and seeing that same spark now where someone's like, "Wait a minute, I can do whatever I want here and I don't have to abide by the factory assembly line? Oh, wow!" You know, so that to me, it's I don't know, again, I wake up every morning genuinely excited about what the day has in store and the years ahead. Just wait till you work with Michael Bay. Yeah. Been there, done that.
Actually, you know, that's actually a very interesting thing. And I'm not going to say who the other person was, but early on Vcam stuff and talking about process, I was, I had someone, and again, I'm talking about back in the, you know, the 2010s or so. I put a Vcam in someone's hands and would not touch it. Like it was almost kind of a joke, where I handed it over and like later on that week, handed the same thing to Michael Bay and he knocked out, it must've been about 25 shots inside of about 40 minutes.
And and so I think one of the things that everybody should take away is the flexibility in meeting creatives where they are because their process – the process isn't what it's all about. It's it's where they go with that and how they move through it. And I think that, again, seeing how you engaged with it, that might be different than someone else.
But you you're given all of the tools, right? You're given all the hardware at this stage. So that's a really interesting point because because these tools are now for the next generation of filmmakers. You know, it's the traditional form of, like you said, you're breaking that mold, this is the way we make movies or we do these things. So for new people coming in, next generation of filmmakers, they'll hopefully embrace this technology and make their own movies that we wouldn't have seen before. Who are the next Spielbergs, next Jasons? Who's that next generation that are coming through and doing great and interesting things we haven't seen before. And it's crazy accessible right now.
That's the other thing that is just it's kind of bonkers. Like small teams can do amazing things. And the other thing I say to Sony also is, it's really neat that, you know, we're doing something maybe at a "higher end," but there are tools and things that we're contemplating being able to also empower someone who is an individual maker to play in that same sandbox. That's, again, that's really exciting. And we're going to start to see amazing things come up.
Well, there's there's a spatial understanding that comes from growing up on video games. And my ability to jump into that world, I think comes from the spatial understanding of having grown up playing video games and being thrilled by the moments, you know, when it went from GTA 2 to 3 and all of a sudden I was like, "Oh, I can go anywhere I want," that starting to impact my ability to walk around a virtual world and take, you know, the only thing I have to prevent myself from doing is I immediately wanted to steal a police car and start shooting down helicopters. As long as I could prevent those instincts, I can continue filmmaking! And I think final thing then.
I mean, you've kind of touched on this already. What the future for this? Where do we see this going? I mean, is this something that you would be excited to use moving forward to to to make your movies? Again, look, I think I can expect what I said earlier. I want to make movies like Juno and Up in the Air the way I did them. And I want to in a real place with my crew and with actors. What thrills me about this is the possibility of telling stories in places I never could have gone. You know, recently I got to demo the the Apple Vision Pro, and the most thrilling thing for me was a moment where they put me in an environment where I was just next to a bear that was just in the water and seemingly just kind of playing around in the water.
But I was just inches away from it. And of all the extraordinary things they showed me, that's the thing that kind of like right there hit me deep is like, this is a place I'll never stand. You know, I'm not Werner Herzog. Like, I'm not going to like, you know... And so the question is, what kind of stories could I tell if I could go anywhere or any time? And then if it can work in a real time way, It's what you said, if then than what? That's the thing, because I want that interaction with my environment. I'll never forget when we were shooting Juno, we were trying to figure out a scene where Juno and Leo we're going to be just having lunch in the school.
And when we all think about that, we think of basically kind of like one or two, that they're either in a cafeteria, right? Or they're like outside sitting on like a little bench, or maybe they're like at their lockers sitting on the ground. Right, like that. Like when I say they're eating lunch at school, there's images that you always go to. And as a filmmaker, you're always trying to go, "How do I get away from what you're used to seeing?" And when we were walking around a school in Vancouver, we saw some kids eating in a trophy case. I was like, "What?" I'd never seen that before, but it was just an empty trophy case. And they were just sitting there eating in the trophy case.
And I was like, "Oh, that's it. That's what we're going to do." So if I can continue to get that kind of feedback from a virtual environment that allows me to still explore and be pushed by that world, to try to come up with new ideas, then this will be a kind of thrilling exponential growth for the kind of stories that we can tell. I love that. Thank you so much.
We're out of time. I could talk with you all day. Thank you all so much. I'm really grateful for all of your support with this project. So thank you, thank you for that. Thank you all for being here.
I'm really excited for what we can what we can do next.