It’s no secret that the novel coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic has shut down live-action production in film, TV and commercials for the last three months. However, it will return. But things will be different for sure. Independent creative studio, The Embassy has 17 years of expertise in visual effects, CGI and production and has been preparing to use all of their knowledge for when we do return to what will be the new normal.
Located in the heart of Vancouver’s “Digital District” and with a newly launched LA studio, they work with global production companies, agencies and brands, in film, television and advertising. Their high profile client list includes brands including Nike, Mercedes, Gatorade, Jeep/Chrysler, and EA.
Their film projects are a geek’s dream including Iron Man, Iron Man 3, District 9 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Winston Helgason (District 9, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) is a co-founder and President of The Embassy. Since its inception in 2002, Winston’s company has consistently produced award winning international commercials.
Helgason noted to Reel 360 that things have drastically changed in the past month,“I feel it, you feel it, we all feel it but I also see the incredible spirit of innovation and invention starting to gain momentum.”
The Embassy recently launched a new studio in LA helmed by former Big Block EP, Kenny Solomon. A remote or fully digital workflow has always been their day-to-day process working with agencies worldwide, film studios, OTT brands etc many of which were not in Vancouver.
Embassy’s systems, security protocols and general communication with clients has always been ‘remote.’ This has helped them pivot and stay 100% up and running while Covid-19 took over the world.
A campaign that is currently in production for Area 23, FCB NYC and Director Robert Stromberg (Maleficent Director) and RSA is a three-spot effort that hasn’t missed a beat in the current digital production pipeline.
Once the project was shot and most of the talent was filmed in from of green screen, The Embassy created CGI locations and environments- something that seems more and more relevant as the production freeze is in place.
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Embassy Braces for Return to Live Action Production
The Embassy is also bracing for the next phase of live action.
Helgason also shared, “We’ve been having more than a few conversations about a very controlled live action production approach. All productions will be tightly controlled where film crews will all need to be tested before shooting on a daily basis, probably zero location shoots and no groups of people or crowds both as talent and as crew/clients etc.”
He adds, “I was on a call with a studio head in LA and he spoke about shooting key talent on a sound stage or green screen and creating digital locations and environments in CGI as well as digital crowds and people. I am really proud with the team here at The Embassy, and the industry as a whole, as we continue to push the ceiling of what is possible.”
ALSO READ: EP Kenny Solomon joins as The Embassy LA
This summer, we’ll also see their VFX work in the upcoming Netflix series, Warrior Nun, based on the classic graphic novel. Can’t wait!
The Embassy recently brought on Sarah Gitersonke of SG+Partners for Midwest Representation and Kelly of Strike-This on the East coast. You can view The Embassy’s work online at here.
Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1