Extending reality with virtual production

by Roger Proeis

Extending reality with virtual production

On October 14, Votion Studios played a starring role at AmCham’s annual ball, where it was recognized as the ‘Best Innovator’s Moment’. The studio, which has some of the best cameras and lenses in Hong Kong, created a unique moment at the event using its ultra-high-speed Phantom camera. This advanced piece of equipment captures intricate detail in slow motion, transforming each guest into a superstar for a few fleeting seconds. The technique has been used both at the Oscars and the Emmy Awards, but this marked a first for Hong Kong, highlighting Votion’s technological prowess and demonstrating its innovative approach to creating memorable experiences. Here, Votion Studios Co-founder Roger Proeis talks with AmCham about the technology and its unique contribution to the creative industries of Hong Kong.

How was Votion Studios created? Despite Hong Kong’s rich cinematic history, the region has clung to conventional film and commercial production methods. The production mindset in Hong Kong has lagged behind the swift technological advancements seen in other parts of the world. I identified a significant gap in the market for substantial investment in world-class extended reality (XR )and virtual production (VP) technologies.

There was a unique opportunity to revolutionize the industry in Hong Kong. I proposed introducing these innovative solutions in Hong Kong, providing professional content creators in the region access to world-class production facilities. In 2021, Votion Studios was incubated by Vobile Group, a global leader in intellectual property protection, monetization, and marketing.

With Vobile’s phenomenal support, I had the opportunity to lead the design and construction of an advanced XR studio, establish the Votion brand, build the team, and now lead its operations as Votion’s Co-founder.

Hong Kong’s strategic location, robust infrastructure, and supportive policies made it an ideal launchpad for Votion Studios. The city’s vibrant creative sector and proximity to the expansive Chinese market offer vast opportunities and potential partnerships. So far, Votion has collaborated with a diverse clientele, including top production companies, creative agencies, brands, and independent artists. Through these successful collaborations, Votion continues to redefine what’s possible with virtual production and XR. It’s exciting to think about the future’s potential.

Building something new and innovative is always fraught with challenges, and Votion was no exception. One of the significant obstacles we faced was the need for more familiarity with XR and VP technologies in Hong Kong. Even experienced directors and cinematographers needed time to understand and adapt to these new methods. It required a lot of patience and education, but seeing the realization dawn on their faces when they grasp the potential of these technologies is incredibly rewarding.

Another challenge was the need to change entrenched production mindsets. The industry here was comfortable with traditional production methods and hesitant to embrace new technologies. We had to show them that these innovations aren’t just gimmicks, but powerful tools that can transform their creative process.

Despite these challenges, Votion’s efforts have been met with enthusiasm and appreciation. The positive feedback we’ve received from our clients, who have seen first-hand the impact of our technology on their work, has been extremely validating. It reaffirms our belief in the potential of XR and VP technologies.

We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible with these technologies. The potential for creativity and innovation is truly limitless. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Votion and the industry as a whole.

As a key player in the rapidly evolving digital content creation industry, Votion Studios has a unique perspective on industry trends and future predictions. The rise of XR immersive technology and VP virtual production technologies have fundamentally changed the video production landscape. This shift is only the beginning. As technologies continue to advance, we’ll see an even greater convergence between the physical and digital worlds. The boundaries of storytelling will be expanded, with creators given more tools to bring their visions to life in ways we can’t even imagine today.

Beyond its innovative work in the industry, Votion Studios is also deeply committed to nurturing the next generation of creatives in Hong Kong. We’ve partnered with multiple universities and creative institutions to provide students with hands-on experience and exposure to cutting-edge production technologies. We believe in the power of education and the importance of providing young talent with opportunities to learn and grow. We’re hopeful that our efforts will contribute to a more vibrant and innovative creative landscape in Hong Kong.

These partnerships also serve as a way for Votion to give back to the community that has been instrumental in its success. We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from the creative community here in Hong Kong. These partnerships are our way of showing our gratitude and ensuring that we’re contributing to the future of the industry in a meaningful way.

Votion Studios is proud to lead this paradigm shift in Hong Kong, offering clients cutting-edge solutions that address current challenges and revolutionize how they conceptualize and execute their creative visions.

Virtual production introduces the ability to construct a diverse range of settings—from realistic foreign landscapes to fantastical imaginary worlds—within the safety of a studio. The approach minimizes logistical challenges and risks associated with location shoots, and reduces the need for large physical crews.

The transition to a virtual production workflow has proven to be a revelation for many in the industry. Once they experience the myriad advantages of this technology, it’s hard to imagine going back to traditional methods.

At present, Votion Studios is the region’s most advanced XR and VP studio, offering innovative technology and services to confront typical video production and filmmaking challenges. These technologies revolutionize the production process, allowing for unprecedented creative flexibility. One of the key advantages of our technology is its ability to offer real-time visual effects. This enables decision-making on the spot, a feat traditional production methods can’t match.

Votion’s immersive VP technology makes possible the creation of detailed, realistic virtual environments, eliminating the need for physical sets. Productions occurs in controlled settings, regardless of location. The system is much more than just an LED volume (a system of linked high-end LED panels used to display video footage or 3D content). Our purpose-built studio supports the entire production workflow, from pre-production to post-production.

Votion’s services extend beyond merely providing technology. We’ve assembled an in-house team supporting creators at every stage, from creating virtual environments to managing on-set production and handling post-production. Votion’s comprehensive approach caters to the diverse needs of our clients and partners, aiding them in bringing their creative visions to life.

I am looking forward to playing an instrumental role in shaping the future of digital content in the region. At Votion, we’re pushing the boundaries and driving the creative industry forward.

Roger Proeis arrived in Hong Kong in 2006 as Creative Director for Luminous Experiential, later serving as Head of Marketing and Communications for Global Cloud Xchange and Turbidite, before founding XUMU, a multi-disciplinary design agency, in 2017. In 2021, he became a Strategic Advisor to Vobile and Co-founder and President of Votion Studios. Beyond corporate achievements, Roger’s life is a tapestry of diverse experiences. He served as a First Lieutenant in the Royal Norwegian Air Force, earned a Master’s Degree in Design from the National Institute of Design in Melbourne, Australia, and has been recognized for his outstanding work as a workspace interior designer and music composer.