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  • Orbitae Films

What is... a previs?

Updated: Jul 4

Previsualization, or previs, is a way to visualize film scenes in advance. It helps directors plan and conceptualize complex moments, often weeks or months before shooting begins.

©Previz Orbitae - La Piñata

Often done in 3D, this approach is not only reserved for productions with special effects; it is also very useful for films without any. Here's why previs has become indispensable in production:


Does the scene have many characters entering and exiting the frame? A fast pace? Visual effects? Many locations? Previs helps directors orchestrate each element of the scene, defining what they want to tell and how to tell it. Anticipating camera movements, actor interactions, lens types, rhythm, etc., are all points that can be resolved in advance, ensuring smooth and efficient execution during filming.

Even Villeneuve used it for Dune!

©Previz Orbitae - Eyes on the menu


Executing scenes with a car chase, a gang fight, an avalanche, or an animal attack can seem like a daunting task. Stunt previs is key to defining choreography and coordination between actors and the camera. Notably, depending on the type of stunt, this step becomes crucial in preparing scenes that require millimeter precision and maximum safety.


By creating sets in previs, it is possible to determine the desired lighting, how it will be dressed, what can be eliminated and what must absolutely be kept. For example, for "John Wick 3", the set of one of the final scenes was created in 3D, allowing for informed decisions before its construction.


By previsualizing some scenes, directors and producers can significantly reduce production costs by avoiding time wastage on set and optimizing resource use. As we know... time is money. For instance, for Netflix's "Society of the snow", a previs of the plane crash was created, which helped them determine how many sets they needed to build for this particular and complicated moment.


Previs also serves as a visual reference for all those involved in the project. It facilitates the director to communicate his or her vision and ensures that all members clearly understand the composition and tone of the scene to be shot.


This process offers great creative freedom. With this tool, directors can experiment with different camera angles, lighting and narrative approaches before making final decisions, thus promoting a richer and more accomplished artistic expression.


All in all, previsualization is not just a technical tool; it's an extension of the creative vision, a facilitator of communication and an essential instrument for the effective management of a cinematic project. That's why, at Orbitae, we offer 3D previs services for complex scenes, as well as stunt previs. Interested? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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