In a new interview with Indiewire, Alex Kurtzman spoke about completing Season Three of Discovery at home after filming in Iceland, and about a new acquisition to use in filming Season Four.
To achieve the look of an alien world, Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise decided to film in Iceland, but when the COVID-19 lockdown came, post-production had to be done at home, which included the homes of some of the actors.
Those actors received motion-capture equipment to do pickups for inserts. Kurtzman explained that those inserts each featured “an actual actor at their home motion-capture studio, which then gets rendered in the computer as a living thing. It’s a real person. Each of our actors have been scanned, so we can actually impose their faces on a body, which is quite something.”
Meanwhile the editors, “miraculously and heroically,” said Kurtzman “took their editing bays into their living rooms. And we cut the entire season, in collaboration, just the way I’m talking to you [Indiewire] right now. We also scored the entire season, mixed the entire season, color timed the entire season, all from [my] laptop.”
Season 4 will begin shooting on November 2 and the cast is already there quarantining before production. Due to COVID-19, they won’t be filming internationally as before, but a new acquisition will help when it comes to filming. “It looks like we are going to be getting an AR wall for future seasons of Star Trek on multiple shows,” said Kurtzman.
An AR wall is an alternative to a green screen, where the technology used “provides a real-time in-camera alternative to green screen where the filmmakers see the final pixels on set.” This means that actors will be “interacting with the environment and actions” for which the script calls.
COVID-19 has made it challenging to make quality productions, but human ingenuity and the ability to adapt means that the productions will still be happening.