Keith Jeffery is the Head of Automotive at Taylor James in London (www.taylorjames.com). Here, he discusses the value of previs and techvis prior to production.
Previs/postvis has really come into its own over the past few years – what do you attribute to its increasing and important role in production?
Jeffery: “I believe that clients and their agencies have realized the benefits of CG in [the] asset production process as a whole. We, like our clients, are constantly looking to make productions more efficient, while delivering more content at the best possible price, and previs/postvis are relatively new areas in the field of advertising. It can save our clients real money.
“Previs allows for all possible eventualities to be checked and planned for. We can confirm access to a location, possible effects on camera position and lensing, even down to sun up/sun down and the impact of shadows in the scene.”
Can you discuss some of the key benefits of previs/postvis?
Jeffery: “Previs/postvis simply gives you more information and the ability to plan. It will highlight potential problems from a location, enable you to minimize expenditure on potentially redundant equipment, and allow you to solve unforeseen challenges before they arise on set.”
Can you cite recent projects where previs helped save time or money? Or, how it was key in figuring out how a scene would play out?
Jeffery: “Previs now takes an active role in nearly all of our projects, whether we are producing them in-house or with external partners. We recently produced some angle and lens studies for a Nissan GT-R project, which was shot with Sjoerd Ten Kate. The client and agency were able to agree the lensing and camera heights prior to setting foot out of the office. This enabled Sjoerd to setup his shots more quickly on the shoot.”
Some previs is so detailed, it’s almost like a finished project — what’s the level of detail you typically need to provide?
Jeffery: “This really depends on the requirements of the project. We can quickly produce height and lensing studies in doughboys prior to an automotive shoot or we can produce what looks like practically a finished image to enable a client to visualize how a location may look when shot from different directions. The effects are stunning and can give the client such a fantastic representation of what they will receive.”
Do you offer techvis as a service, and if so, in what capacity?
Jeffery: “We work on projects with clients from concept to completion, so techvis is a part of that process. We also collaborate with external directors of photography, or we can provide the best option for the client from our own contacts.”
What software tools are you using for your previs/postvis work?
Jeffery: “We operate with Max and Maya internally, supported with the information we can source, create or capture on the potential locations we are considering.”