Virtual Production Supervisor

Production San Francisco, CA


Position at Industrial Light & Magic

Position Summary

The Virtual Production Supervisor is responsible for west coast oversight and integration of all physical acquisition and virtual production stage technology within the Lucasfilm Companies.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Design an approach plan and/or recommendations for virtual production requests ranging from basic body mocap to complex on-set capture and visualization, working in collaboration with the engineering team, show Virtual Production Supervisor, and/or VFX/Anim Supervisors.
  • Collaborate with Virtual Production Engineering to stay aware of all relevant active development within ILM, Lucasfilm, and Disney. Communicate clearly as a product owner/stakeholder to identify the priorities for the stage team in San Francisco.
  • Work with the Virtual Production Producers and/or show Virtual Production Supervisor to generate an accurate estimate of the stage or on-set labor based on a thorough approach plan; advise on casting/sourcing talent to effectively incorporate performance capture into our prospective projects.
  • Supervise the onsite stage team in supporting the virtual production needs for both ILM and Lucasfilm.
  • Partners with the Virtual Production Engineering teams in planning and execution of technology development projects, ensuring that priorities are in line with show/project needs.
  • Supervises demonstrations and preshow/greenlight tests to prove capabilities and potential of performance capture/virtual production.
  • Advise directors on character casting and assist directors in crafting a desired performance when needed.
  • Oversee Virtual Production Stage crew by providing training, mentoring, and guidance on running shoots and projects independently.
  • Plans and manages the local Virtual Production budget and plans spending for the following fiscal year.
  • Evaluate and maintain virtual production needs and standards for potential and ongoing projects, and ensure that documentation of these standards and approach plans are maintained according to ILM’s Best Practices.
  • Train the location crew in ILM Best Practices for on-set virtual production, including body and facial capture as needed, including advising on professional photography equipment & techniques for location use.
  • Create and maintain capture vendor & service bureau relationships; stay up to date on the stage capture equipment and software.
  • Responsible for the delivery of good captured data that plugs into the ILM CG pipeline; collaborate with show leadership to ensure that captured data integrates successfully into the ILM CG Pipeline.
  • Supervise motion retargetting, editing, and delivery of data shot internally or externally.
  • Supervise preparation for all virtual production shoots, including scene assembly and asset preparation.
  • Ensure asset and delivery pipelines are properly configured for each virtual production show. Collaborate with the Virtual Production Engineering team to improve the pipeline.
  • Maintain the stage technology infrastructure, including mocap systems & video acquisition and distribution; plan and supervise stage infrastructure improvement projects
  • Partners with Virtual Production Producers on space, staffing, equipment, and budgetary needs for the following fiscal year.
  • Attend trade shows and travel to vendors for tech evaluations, etc.
  • Supervise in-house bluescreen element shoots as needed.
  • Supervises and directs facial Medusa captures on and offsite.
  • Occasional travel to set and/or offsite client meetings.

Education / Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in Film, Engineering, Computer Science or relevant area.
  • 10+ years of experience with Motion Capture technology, VFX, and Physical Production.
  • On-set client interaction and key creative collaboration.
  • Track record of successfully delivering high quality data in a rapidly changing environment

Required Skills / Competencies

  • Advanced knowledge of on-set digital acquisition hardware.
  • Advanced knowledge of all motion capture & facial capture hardware, techniques, and on-set pipelines.
  • Must be able to execute technically difficult work and maintain a productive attitude under the pressure of live action production.
  • Proven track record in leadership and mentorship of virtual production stage crews.
  • Knowledge of game engine and game-related technologies.
  • Experience in a visual effects asset and shot production pipeline.
  • Experience using digital content creation software such as Maya.
  • Advanced knowledge of still photography, film, and video production.
  • Advanced knowledge of movie lighting and stage rigging skills preferred.
  • Experience with video hardware and signals, video engineering experience preferred.
  • Must be highly computer literate with Linux. MAC & Windows also preferred.
  • Must be an excellent troubleshooter to diagnose and solve issues in complex integrated systems of computers, video recording systems, software, and other sensor-driven systems.
  • Ability to develop and debug scripts in Python preferred but not required.
  • Strong understanding of the concepts, practices, and procedures used in visual effects and film production.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and diplomacy skills.
  • Must be detail oriented, highly organized, and be able to handle a variety of tasks in an efficient manner.