As most Hollywood productions collapsed during the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the global pandemic, The Mandalorian stayed on course, and it’s currently on track to deliver its second season on Disney+ in October. However, much of season two was already being filmed as the first season was still captivating audiences, breaking records, and later, going on to score a sizable amount of Emmy nominations. In short, the show got very lucky as a good bulk of the season was in the can before the pandemic reared its head in March 2020.
With season three officially greenlit, fans are understandably concerned that The Mandalorian won’t be so fortunate this time as productions are still facing uncertainty. Fortunately, showrunner Jon Favreau is putting those fears to rest. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Favreau confirms that season three is still on schedule, and he’s confident that the unique filmmaking process for The Mandalorian will allow production to chug along just as smoothly as it did for season two.
The fact that the set is much more contained is a benefit, because you can limit the number of people. A lot of the people controlling it are doing it remotely from what we call the Brain Bar, which is a bank of gaming computers, essentially. The amount of people near the camera could be much smaller than [usual]. We also shoot a lot outside, which is helpful, too. We build to a moment in filming more like an animated production, where we have a lot of storyboards, a lot of discussions and scouting in virtual reality. We use cinematic tools in VR much the same way we did for The Lion King and The Jungle Book. A lot of times the actors you are seeing on the screen aren’t actually there on set.
Favreau is referring here to The Volume, a state-of-the-art soundstage that’s filled with LED screens powered by the same game engine that brings Fortnite to life for millions of players. The Volume was featured prominently in the behind-the-scenes series, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, and it’s truly a remarkable filmmaking tool that produces photo-realistic sets and lighting in a matter of seconds. Numerous scenes in The Mandalorian that appeared to be shot outdoors were actually created in The Volume.
Granted, the technology is a less intimate process that requires an astonishing amount of pre-visualization work, but it’s practically tailor-made for a time when filming with a skeleton crew is a life-saving necessity.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)