FREMONT, Calif.—Blackmagic Design announced that it partnered with Arizona-based studio Sneaky Big to create virtual episodes of the syndicated “Judge Jerry” show during the pandemic. Sneaky Big works with NBCUniversal Syndication Studios (NBCU) on the production of “Judge Jerry” TV show.
The studio relied on Blackmagic Design’s Ultimatte 12 real-time compositing processors to film in three different states and then create a seamless, virtual courtroom experience, producing what the companies are calling a virtually produced “quarantine court” where litigants received “virtual verdicts.”
To shoot the second season, Sneaky Big’s crews used standard field cameras. Each feed was sent back live to the studio where they were fed into five Ultimatte 12s, which produced the mattes. An Blackmagic Design Ultimatte Smart Remote 4 was also used during production, alongside six Teranex 2D Processor standards converters to standardize the video format.
For the virtual production, Judge Jerry was filmed on a green screen from his home in Florida, and the show’s Bailiff Najee Hinds was filmed at home in New York. The team used pop-up green screens and green studios located across the country to allow litigants to remain local, which cut travel costs and allowed the production to comply with Covid-19 safety measures. For the “virtual verdicts,” Judge Jerry and Bailiff Najee were filmed on green screen in the NBCU facilities in Stamford, Conn.
“The pandemic made all of us rethink how we do business and really brought virtual production to the forefront,” said Sneaky Big CEO Marianne Guenther. “Virtual sets allow for greater flexibility at a lower cost. We think this type of production and technology is here to stay.”
Since the studio’s inception in 2016, Sneaky Big, which has a 15,000-square-foot facility in North Scottsdale, has utilized advanced technology, including Ultimatte 12 and additional Blackmagic Design equipment, to offer a full suite of production and virtual services.
To learn more about Sneaky Big, visit www.sneakybig.com.
For more information on the Blackmagic Design products, visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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