Snowpiercer Virtual Premiere Party
Simultaneously lighting 6 actors in their homes
Little Cinema specializes in creating immersive cinema events for the TV and film industry. For many years, they have produced incredible premiere parties for their clients, creating immersive experiences designed to mesh with the environment of the show that was premiering. In April 2020, though, Little Cinema faced a problem: the spread of COVID-19 made the possibility of any in-person premiere events entirely out of the question.
They rapidly pivoted to an online premiere format, utilizing actors in their own homes, with digital sets created with a green screen. However, the key to a good green screen comp is lighting – the lighting on the actor has to match up perfectly with the lighting in the digital environment behind them. To achieve this, Little Cinema needed complete control over the lights in each actor’s home, without having technicians on-site.
The premiere of TNT’s Snowpiercer featured 6 actors in 6 different locations, split between Los Angeles and New York. A technician was sent briefly into each actor’s home to set up the lighting system and green screen, which then sat untouched for several days before the actor entered the room.
Unfortunately, the time between the digital backgrounds being ready and the show going live was going to be very tight, so it was impossible to program the final looks that early in the process. Lighting Designer Andrew Schmedeke knew he would need the ability to tweak the lighting on each actor while looking at the final camera feed, without sending a technician back to each location.
Andrew chose CineMiranda as his control system. The lighting rig in each actor’s home was equipped with a CineMiranda unit, which plugged into their home ethernet without any complicated setup. Andrew was then able to connect to each of those CineMirandas from his own computer, using the Miranda web interface. This allowed him to set looks remotely once the backgrounds were ready, and even tweak the lighting in real-time during rehearsals and the event.