TDC supplied and engineered the bespoke virtual set and space for filming
Australia - The first Australian feature film to be entirely shot using Virtual Production premieres internationally this month. Mercy Road is an unrelentingly tense psychological thriller from Tracks director John Curran.
Teaming up with Australian filmmaker Alex Proyas’ (The Crow, Dark City) Arclight Films and virtual film production company, Heretic Foundation filmed the in-car and select outdoor scenes for the 85-min drama using the LED Volume stage at the purpose-built TDC Studios in Sydney, Australia.
Working from a script by Chris Pelletier and Jesse Heffring and starring Luke Bracey (Point Break, Hacksaw Ridge, Elvis), Mercy Road is a white-knuckle ride about a man who is pushed to the limits of his sanity to protect his beloved daughter.
To realise his vision, Curran and cinematographer Ross Giardina (Gold) devised the film to be shot using real-time in-camera compositing techniques at TDC Studios with a workflow designed and supervised by Heretic.
TDC supplied and engineered the bespoke virtual set and space for filming including ROE Black Pearl BP2 LED screens, RedSpy by StYpe wireless optical motion tracking and the latest vx 2 disguise Media Server. The LED screen itself was 11m x 4m while the LED ceiling was utilised.
The TDC team deployed the disguise XR workflow using rx II render nodes to render out Unreal Engine scene work live. “Utilising XR for scenes like this becomes very efficient as production staff are able to change out the desired scenery very quickly,” explained Harrison Dow, video technician at TDC.
TDC collaborated with Giardina to facilitate the pixel mapping of the film’s scenic lighting to make ambient lighting subtle and even more immersive. Two downstage LED trolleys were at the DOP’s disposal to further enhance the scenic ambient lighting.
Alex Rendell, technical project manager, TDC Studios said: “TDC Studios are at the forefront of immersive virtual production technologies. We were honoured and excited to have worked with Arclight Films and Heretic Foundation to support the production at TDC Studios in seamlessly blending live and virtual worlds and to bring this powerful story to life.”
Mercy Road is produced with Hianlo Films and financed by Rainmaker Films, Icon Film Financing, Media Finance Capital utilising Screen NSW PDV scheme and Filmology Finance. The film was released in Australia on 24 August and in North America on 31 August 2023.

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