Throwback: PRG delivered huge projection solution for the film production 'Inside' with Willem Dafoe

During the Corona pandemic, PRG was commissioned to realize a large-scale video projection for the shooting of the film "Inside" in the MMC studios in Cologne, which was able to display the New York skyline at different times of the day and night in front of the approximately 45-meter-wide window front of a luxury apartment opulently recreated in the studio.

The film was originally supposed to be shot in New York, but due to the pandemic-related restrictions, it was decided to produce the film entirely in the studio. In the film, Willem Dafoe plays art thief Nemo, who is trapped in a luxurious apartment after a failed burglary, as the apartment's security systems make escape seemingly impossible.

"Inside" is a chamber play that focuses mainly on Dafoe's performance. It vividly depicts the desperation and madness of a man trapped in a hopeless situation. The film is atmospherically dense and suspenseful, to which the skyline projections shown in each scene made a significant contribution.

The challenges for PRG were, on the one hand, the installation of a projection surface measuring approx. 50 x 8 meters and its projection in an extremely limited space, as the apartment took up a large part of the studio. Ten high-performance projectors with special ultra-wide-angle lenses were used to ensure that the projection surface could be projected homogeneously from a short distance.On the other hand, the various moods of the New York skyline had to be able to be changed flexibly during the shoot.To achieve this, the PRG experts programmed their own control system, which made it possible to call up the desired mood at the touch of a button on set using an iPad. Steve Annis (Director of Photography) was delighted with the possibilities of this solution: "This system was perfect: creating transitions from day to dusk to night, moving the sky up and down, adding small lights on the horizon, simply to get everything perfectly framed. If you shoot a shot where you're looking at the projection screen, the beauty of it is that you can fade in the twilight mood that was captured at sunset. But then when we do a reverse cut and just use daylight to light the subject, that process is really fantastic."

Charles Breitkreuz from the production company Schiwago Film GmbH explains the collaboration: "We had no experience in dealing with projections. So it was a complex process to find out how many projectors we needed and what material we needed. So it was always a collaboration between the VFX company, PRG and us.PRG was a good partner in working out the final requirements of the project.

After being screened at the Berlinale last year and released in theaters, the film is now available on streaming services (e.g. Amazon Prime).

PRG is delighted to have been part of this exciting production and would like to thank everyone involved. 
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