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making of virtual happiness

Direction, cinematography and editing: Sebastian Rosso
Cast: Veronica Lopez, James Soloway. VFX: William Rosso
Special thanks: Lila Serezhkina, Ying Jian Joerica, Chioma Chatula, Chibuzo CJ Nwaoko  

Based on the technology of virtual reality, Virtual Happiness is the story of a woman’s attempt to escape her reality.

This presented us with an opportunity to try out greenscreen

The film was produced and shot in Los Angeles during 5 days of production, counting from the first script draft to the finished frames. 

Preparing a film with exchangeable backgrounds required a different approach to pre-production: Location-scouting is replaced with reference gathering and world building.

By building the enviroments in advance (the mountains, moon, and ”error” screen) in 180 and 360 degree angles we had a clear picture on where the lights of that atmosphere would fall. This helped during the most important aspect of greenscreen: the lighting.

Already in pre-production we had the idea of switching backgrounds in one take, i.e. changing the landscape and lightning mid-shot.

To pull it off we had to synchronise three different light settings.

"Room light" to "screen light" to "mountain light". Also switching from a 2.35 ratio to 16.9.

For the entrance scene we used three lights with different temperatures. This was to get a warm welcoming entrance to the apartment and the further you walked in to it, the more colder and unfriendly it gets.

We used two ARRI 650w fresnels and a 750w with chimera with a few gels.

Virtual Happiness took one (long) day to shoot and was followed by 3 days of editing and Chroma keying.

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