Real Steel, the new film from DreamWorks and Director Shawn Levy about boxing robots made heavy use of Codex technology as a central part of the filmmaking process. The film's workflow was developed by Ron Ames and Glenn Derry, who served as associate producer and virtual production supervisor, respectively, and was based in part on techniques they developed while working on Avatar.
The film, which began production in early 2010, was primarily shot with Sony F35 cameras that were tethered via fiber cables to a pair of Codex Digital Labs set up in a truck located off set. The Codex Digital Labs served as a mobile lab for the production and were used to produce color timed dailies, deliverables for review, editorial, visual effects and final grading, and back-up elements. Codex Onboard Recorders were used for scenes shot run-and-gun style.
Along with the ability to produce dailies almost instantly, this workflow delivered a number of significant advantages. The editorial and visual effects teams were able to work with production elements with near-to-final color grades. If a cut changed, the vfx crew could simply drop in the extra frames without rescanning, a significant timesaver. Most significantly, by providing the means to record and preserve complex metadata from the point of capture through delivery, Codex facilitated a line of communication between production and post production departments that previously would have been virtually impossible.
"It provided everyone with a clear understanding of what the director, the cinematographer and other creatives on the set were looking for, and so they were better able to carry their creative vision through to the end," explains Ames. "It was easy for everyone to know what was expected of them. We were all making the same movie."