Intro to Virtual Production 101

Intro to Virtual Production 101: The Future Is Now!

July 31, 2021 A Special Projects Committee virtual event.

On July 31, more than 325 DGA members were able to learn more about this fast growing medium when the Special Projects Committee presented the online event, Intro to Virtual Production 101: The Future Is Now!

During the event moderated by AD/UPM VFX/Digital Technology Committee Chair Susan Zwerman, Director/Associate Director Brad Duns (The Masked Singer), 1st AD Kim Richards & 2nd AD Heather Wagner (The Mandalorian), Stage Manager Valdez Flagg (Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special), The Third Floor Line Producer Lara Cawsey and Happy Mushroom CEO/Virtual Production Producer Felix Jorge gave informative presentations that covered topics such as what types of scenes are good for Virtual Production; how visualization feeds into the Virtual Production pipeline; technical terms that DGA Members should know; tips on how to shoot and schedule Virtual Production; a basic primer on how the Virtual Production pipeline works; and XR (Extended Reality) as well as AR (Augmented Reality) technology.

All presenters then participated in a group Q&A and answered questions submitted by members.

DGA members, click here for a PDF glossary of terms used in this presentation.

See video from this event in the gallery below. More to come soon.


Brad DunsDirector Brad Duns (The Masked Singer)
Duns has worked in variety programming since 2001. After working his way up through the script department, he joined the DGA as an Associate Director in 2010 and became a Director in 2019. Over the past two decades, Duns has worked on some of the biggest shows on TV, including 15 Super Bowl halftime shows, 23 seasons of Dancing with the Stars, and hundreds of other variety specials and award shows. In addition to his recent work directing The Masked Singer, he has also helmed episodes of America’s Most Wanted.

Valdez FlaggStage Manager Valdez Flagg (Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special)
A DGA member since 1987, Flagg currently serves as an Associate member of the DGA National Board and is a past Chair of the DGA Western AD/SM/PA Council. He is also a member of the Special Projects Committee. In addition to his recent work on Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, his Stage Manager resume also includes special events such as In Performance at the White House: Musica LatinaIn Performance at the White House: A Salute to the TroopsIn Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues; awards shows including the Oscars, Grammys, iHeart Radio Music Awards, NFL Honors, ESPY Awards, SAG Awards, Emmys, and AMAs; as well as series and sitcoms including The VoiceThe WallShowtime at the ApolloMartinMoesha, and In Living Color, among others. 
Kim Richards1st AD Kim Richards (The Mandalorian)
Richards is a TV Production graduate of Emerson College, who started her path at the Guild as a DGA Trainee in the class of 2012. Her first official job was on The Jungle Book with Director Jon Favreau and they haven’t parted ways since. After wrapping Favreau’s The Lion King in 2018, Richards became the 1st AD on The Mandalorian. From there she continued her role into season two, The Book of Boba Fett and is now currently working on season three of The Mandalorian. She has been a DGA member since 2014. 
Heather Wagner2nd AD Heather Wagner (The Mandalorian)
A graduate of the Assistant Director Training Program, Wagner joined the DGA in 2016. In addition to her work on The Mandalorian, her resume includes Todd Holland’s movie for television, Charlie Foxtrot and episodes of series such as The GoldbergsGoneAnimal Kingdom and Silicon Valley, including Mike Judge’s DGA Award-nominated episode, “Server Error.” She is currently working on Steven Spielberg’s new project, The Fabelmans
Lara CawseyLine Producer Lara Cawsey (The Third Floor)
Cawsey’s career spans multiple sectors of the entertainment industry – from feature films such as Ang Lee’s Gemini Man and episodic series like Underbelly and Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, to location-based themed and interactive attractions. Her current production role at visualization studio The Third Floor puts her at the forefront of emerging real-time virtual workflows, where she is collaborating with engineers, developers, and storytellers to put new processes and tools in motion to help enhance creative planning and decision-making. 
Felix JorgeCEO, Head of Virtual Production & Co-Founder Felix Jorge (Happy Mushroom)
With a genuine passion for creating story-driven, interactive content through real time workflows, Jorge serves as the CEO, Head of Virtual Production, and Co-Founder of Happy Mushroom. His extensive career leading Visual Art Department teams has given him a deep understanding of the creative pipeline in all phases (Pre-Production, Production, and Post) and his dedication to innovation, enthusiasm for storytelling, and “Filmmaker First” mentality has helped shape Happy Mushroom into the revolutionary studio it is today. 
Susan ZwermanDGA Digital Day Subcommittee Co-Chair & AD/UPM VFX/Digital Technology Committee Chair Susan Zwerman (moderator)
Zwerman has worked as the Studio Executive Producer for Exceptional Minds where she provided young artists on the autism spectrum career opportunities in digital animation and visual effects on feature films such as Black Widow, Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of SkywalkerAvengers: EndgameCaptain MarvelGreen Book and Black Panther. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America, and the Visual Effects Society. She is also the editor — with Jeffrey Okun — of The VES Handbook of Visual Effects (Third Edition) published in July 2020. A DGA member since 1979, Zwerman received the 2013 Frank Capra Achievement Award in recognition of career achievement and service to the industry and to the Guild. Zwerman is a member of the Special Projects Committee and is Co-Chair of its Digital Day Subcommittee. 

About The Special Projects Committee

Special Projects is the educational and cultural arm of the Directors Guild of America, providing its members opportunities for creative exchange to advance their craft and celebrate the achievements of directors and their teams.

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