ReadySet Studios Unveils Virtual Production/ICVFX Workflow for Eurovision 2023

ReadySet Studios used virtual production and in-camera VFX techniques to blend virtual and physical set elements on the “Burning Daylight” music video, the official entry representing the Netherlands at “Eurovision 2023.”

The ReadySet Studios LED facility in Amsterdam leveraged an Unreal Engine and Stype RedSpy 3 workflow for real-time camera tracking to create virtual set elements for the “Burning Daylight” music video.

Florian Legters, ReadySet Studios’ chief production designer, oversaw the designing and building of the physical sets that were merged with virtual set elements on the “Burning Daylight” music video, the official entry representing the Netherlands at “Eurovision 2023.”

Shooting on a LED Volume Offered Flexible Approach on Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper’s “Burning Daylight” Music Video; Official Entry Representing the Netherlands

We are excited to showcase the benefits of virtual production that our studio offered in capturing our national music talent for one of the most highly anticipated televised events in the world.”

— Idse Grotenhuis, ReadySet Studios, Managing Director/Founder/Producer

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, May 10, 2023/ — ReadySet Studios, today announced it delivered extensive virtual production (VP) and in-camera VFX (ICVFX) services for Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper’s “Burning Daylight” music video, the official entry representing the Netherlands in the “Eurovision Song Contest 2023.” The final competition of the “Eurovision Song Contest 2023 “– one of the most-watched international television spectacles — airs on Saturday, May 13. (Additional information and viewing schedules are available here.)

Burning Daylight – VP/ICVFX Creative Brief

Working with a creative brief from Bruut Amsterdam, ReadySet Studios built physical sets of various locations in the video, including a restaurant, multiple versions of a living room with action taking place at different times of day, and a nightclub scene with a small stage where the artists perform with virtual sets of a nightclub setting. An important caveat for production was that at the time of filming, the Burning Daylight song was still strictly confidential and could not be leaked under any circumstances.

“As the first full-service VP/ICVFX studio in the Netherlands, we were excited to collaborate with Bruut Amsterdam and showcase the benefits of virtual production and the versatility that our studio can offer in creatively capturing our national music talent for one of the most highly anticipated televised events in the world,” says Idse Grotenhuis, ReadySet Studios’ managing director.

Burning Daylight explores two painful events about the end of the relationships that provide the connecting thread in the video. Gregory Samson directed the project, with Bruut Amsterdam’s Deniz Alkaç serving as executive producer.

“The Burning Daylight storyline takes place in a variety of locations that, if using traditional production techniques, would have required the crew to travel to multiple locations,” adds Grotenhuis. “Filming on the LED volume allowed our virtual art department to quickly change story locations while credibly showcasing ReadySet Studios’ agile storytelling approach and real-time, sustainable production solutions.”

“Working with the ReadySet Studios team, I could modify content quickly and easily, exactly to my liking,” notes Samson. “We could never have shot the video within budget to achieve the desired look if we had built all this as a set. Without having to rush or travel gave me much more time to work with my actors and crew to create something beautiful.”

Virtual Production Technology – Creating Credibility

ReadySet Studios’ Dennis Kleyn, founding partner and VP/VFX producer, explains that shooting the music video in virtual production solved logistical and creative efficiency challenges as the team used a smaller physical set yet could believably ‘sell’ the full production value of larger locations. “The entire virtual production approach made it possible to shoot six locations within a short time, preventing company moves and enabling the busy artists of the song to make the most of their time within a single shooting location at the facility.

“ReadySet Studios created all on-screen content for Burning Daylight entirely virtually, full CG,” says Kleyn. “Although we use photographic references to capture certain moods and correct lighting, there were no existing locations,” he added.

LED Volume Versatility

Florian Legters, ReadySet Studios co-founder and chief production designer, oversaw designing and building the physical sets, including an ingenious central ‘portal’ with doors to ‘connect’ the multiple virtual scenes the artists walk in and out of from one location to another.

“Meeting the needs of the fast-paced production timeframe required intense pre-production collaboration among all creative teams to find the ‘sweet spot’ between high production value and managing the decisions of which set elements would be created physically or virtually,” outlined Legters.

“The physical set served as an anchor to the virtual scenes to mirror the turbulent situation between the two main characters allowing them to cross borders between day and night,” he added. “It also provided a space to convincingly show places that could never be close to each other or prove impractical in real-life single shots.”

Planet X’s Robert Okker, head of virtual production/VFX supervisor, was responsible for the design and execution of the Burning Daylight virtual sets and overseeing the technical aspects during the shoot.

“Shooting on the LED volume offers versatility to capture multiple angles for final pixel in all directions,” says Okker. “We utilized Unreal Engine and Stype RedSpy 3 for real-time camera tracking to create Burning Daylight virtual set elements optimized with predetermined interactive lighting and color schemes. Although combining the photorealistic requirement while preserving real-time performance is always a challenge, the VP/ICVFX workflow allowed us to respond to feedback from the director, DOP, and other creative stakeholders throughout production and even offer last-minute tweaks and adjustments.

“Collaborations between the gaffer and on-set Unreal artists further ensured accurate blending between real foregrounds and virtual backgrounds,” he added.

About ReadySet Studios

ReadySet Studios in Amsterdam is paving the way for virtual production (VP) and in-camera VFX (ICVFX) in the Netherlands. Co-founded with Planet X, the leading Dutch visual effects studio, the 5500-square-foot facility recently celebrated its first anniversary, offering services to feature films, episodic television, and commercial productions. By leveraging Planet X’s expertise in traditional VFX workflows, content creation, and real-time render engine developments, ReadySet Studios offers optimized end-to-end visual effects and ICVFX production pipelines for creative professionals centered on innovation and sustainability.

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Vicky Gray-Clark
Ambient PR
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Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper’s “Burning Daylight” music video is the official entry representing the Netherlands in the “Eurovision Song Contest 2023.”

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