Every director and visual effects (VFX) professional will define virtual production slightly differently, but at its core, virtual production is modern content creation: It is an agile process characterized by starting VFX earlier and leveraging technology throughout the entire production life cycle to
enhance the way content is created.
Traditional production is highly linear: Directors and cinematographers plan scenes using storyboards and shot lists; actors are filmed on sets, on locations, and against green screens; and editorial and VFX development starts and finishes after filming is complete.
This one-way procession through preproduction, production, and postproduction can encourage negative outcomes, such as a “fix-it-inpost” mentality, destructive or duplicative VFX labor, and expensive reshoots.
Virtual production is iterative and creative: Beginning VFX in preproduction makes digital assets available for planning and shooting, making it easier to continuously refine the final look and feel throughout the course of production. Virtual production is an expansion of the traditional filmmaking playbook, enabling studios to pursue greater experimentation while controlling the time and cost of production.