Los Angeles, CA—Just announced is the formation of The Previsualization Society, a non-profit, interdisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of previsualization (“previs”), founded by previs practitioners for those who produce or use previs. The organization’s charter sponsor is Autodesk.

Previsualization is defined as a collaborative process that generates preliminary versions of shots or sequences, predominantly using 3D animation tools and a virtual environment, enabling filmmakers to visually explore creative ideas, plan technical solutions, and communicate a shared vision for efficient production.  By bridging and providing value to multiple creative collaborators and departments, previs has become a common practice and has the potential to empower all steps of the processPrevisSociety as content production continues to evolve in the digital age.

“When I started my career in previs 15 years ago, I used to always have to explain why productions might need previs,” said Previsualization Society president Colin Green.  “Now producers simply call saying ‘we need previs.’  Despite the popularity of the process, there are still many different views of what previs is, and how it should all work. The Previsualization Society will be a great way to bring expertise into a common forum for everyone to share.”

The Previsualization Society will build a community to maximize the current and future capabilities and contributions of the previs medium and focus on producing and publishing information and resources to promote effective previs through key activities such as promoting standards, education, workflow development and practical knowledge exchange.

As inspired by the recently completed ASC-ADG-VES Joint Technology Subcommittee on Previsualization, co-chaired by David Morin and Ron Frankel, the organization will also provide a platform for ongoing interchange and learning between all contributors that engage with previs.

“When the previs committee delivered its final report last month, it was clear that a lot of work remained to be done,” David Morin remarked.  “As a result, members of the committee decided to create a permanent organization dedicated to previsualization.  In this brave new world of digital moviemaking, previsualization has the potential to do a lot more good than it already has. The Previsualization Society will develop that potential, and anyone interested to help should join!”

Membership in the Previsualization Society is open to previs professionals (previs supervisors and practitioners), associates (directors, producers, storyboard artists, cinematographers, art directors, production designers, editors, studio executives and other industry personnel) and academics (students and educators).  General interest memberships will also be offered.

Founding members of the Previsualization Society are: David Dozoretz, Founder, Director and VFX Supervisor, Persistence of Vision (POV) Previs; Chris Edwards, CEO, The Third Floor; Ron Frankel, President and Founder, Proof; Colin Green, President and Founder, Pixel Liberation Front; Daniel Gregoire, Owner, Halon Entertainment; and Brian Pohl, CEO, POV Previs.

The charter membership of Previsualization Society currently includes directors, cinematographers, visual effects supervisors, production designers, art directors, editors and technology developers, as well as previs artists and supervisors whose credits collectively span from pioneering previs on films including Judge Dredd, Mission: Impossible, the Star Wars prequels and Minority Report to recent blockbuster projects such as Avatar, Star Trek, Alice in Wonderland and Iron Man.

“With the transformation of film production from step-by-step methodology into a nonlinear creative process, previs has become an essential ally to filmmakers,” said Alex McDowell, RDI, production designer and a Previsualization Society charter member. “In the ten years I’ve been working alongside previs practitioners in film, department after department have discovered the enormous benefit of plugging into the core of information and exploration that previs provides within a collaborative virtual workspace and at any scale of production.”

“Beyond its highly useful functionality in the day to day,” McDowell added, “previs continues to allow an evolving dialogue to develop through the arc of production — between early creative development, through production and capture and into the far reaches of post production — that helps to ensure the creative vision of directors and their teams reaches the audience intact.”

Funding for the Previsualization Society is provided through membership and sponsorship. Its charter sponsor is Autodesk, which offers a family of 3D applications that are core tools for previs and pre-production of movies, commercials and video game cinematics.

Inquiries for membership in the Previsualization Society may be made through the Previsualization Society Website.  Applications submitted now will be considered for membership induction in January 2010.  Also in January, the Previsualization Society expects to launch a purpose-built content site to be populated with public articles, professional forums, handbooks, tutorials, definitions, archives, real-world previs examples, databases and downloadable tools.  The Web portal will also offer targeted advertising, promotional and continuing education opportunities.

The Previsualization Society is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with chapters in Europe, Latin America, Australasia and other regions around the world.