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MOBILE, Ala. — The success of “The Mandelorian” on the television and film industry has been a game changer as virtual studio solutions have become more prevalent in the industry. Absen worked with 3rd Realm Creations to bring this solution to the Port City of Mobile, Alabama.
Mobile, AL is no stranger to the film industry as some major films such as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “ The Final Destination”, “Under Siege” have been filmed in this part of the country. However, the rise of virtual studio solutions has given filmmakers more options to create films.
"In the last two years, we've seen about a 300% growth in studios having this technology worldwide," 3rd Realm Creations Head of Productions Kyle Bucher said.
Bucher is talking about the company's LED wall made by Absen, a leading manufacturer of high-end LED solutions. It's a large, high-quality display that uses a digital background and physical objects to create an illusion that an actor is in a real location. It has received so much publicity that the local news has even featured it locally. The wall consists of 19 x 6 (9.5m x 3m) Polaris Series (PL) 2.5 panels. 114 panels were used to build the wall and each panel is made of die-cast aluminum and weighs 19 pounds. It also has high brightness and high contrast for superior visual performance. Polaris series supports 3840hz refresh rate, promising outstanding on-camera visual effect, which significantly improves customers’ satisfaction and encourages them to share about live events. It also has convex and concave options for added creativity such as curve. The wall is using a ground-stacking system but can also be hung as well.
"This allows filmmakers to quickly adjust details in a virtual world without the real-word hassles of weather, scheduling and travel," city of Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said.
The overall goal is to help increase Mobile's presence in the film and television industry. Those already playing a key part in the film industry locally know this a game-changing technology that will help achieve that goal.
"Film production has been going on in Mobile and Baldwin counties for 40 to 45 years, since Steven Spielberg filmed Close Encounters of the Third Kind here," Mobile Film Office Director Tommy Fell said.
Since then, Fell said there's been more than 75 feature films, hundreds of commercials, a number of reality series and documentaries filmed locally. An increase in productions means more jobs and more money.
"Now we can do a lot of that stuff here inside this wall, without impacting traffic and things like that but also bringing that revenue in on a tax basis but also just straight dollars spent in businesses, restaurants, bars, clothing stores like Urban Emporium downtown. You know all of them have seen us come through, buy things, we've rented a lot of Dauphin Street at different times," Bucher said.
It is also giving students a glimpse of what it's like to film using a virtual set. One Coastal Alabama class visits the set every Thursday.
"So we're kind of accenting that class and bringing them in, teaching them what it means in a real world setting and moving past that," Bucher said.
“We couldn’t be prouder of how far this solution has come in a few short years”, says Smile Yue, Absen’s Eastern Sales Manager. As AR and XR technology evolves, we hope to be an integral part of the growth of these burgeoning technologies. This technology is a tool to fill the gap between our real and virtual worlds. We strive to make the world shine more through our products and this partnership with 3rd Realm Creations is just one such example.