It is said to be one of the most watched sporting events in the world. Sorry Super Bowl, but the UEFA Champions League final brings together the best of football, the beautiful game. This year in the hands of British teams, Manchester City and Chelsea, the Champions League final has jumped the Atlantic thanks to HBO. Through HBO Max, the event was also viewed by nearly 380 million people around the world.
However, there is something we cannot deny the Super Bowl: his opening show It is the one that still occupies the front pages around the world. The second most expensive for advertisers who ensure a full impact. Now, the Champions League final follows closely. Not with a show during the break, but during the opening ceremony. This moment has gone from being a pure formality to an event in a few years in the world of football.
For the final of the Champions 2021, the guest list was part of the first line. Selena Gomez, Dj marshmello Y Khalid they were in charge of the music at the inaugural event.
There was only one problem: How to solve the attendance problem? With a stadium with an audience, but less than the numbers that football is used to handling, a musical show had to be done away from what had already been seen to date to adapt to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. You had to reach the viewer accommodated at home. Precisely, the task of improving the Champions League final has been commissioned by a Spanish production company that has already crossed borders on more than one occasion: MR Factory.
More than 30 years operating in the digital sector
It could be said that MR Factory is a startup, one of the first created almost 30 years ago. The reason? Since their creation they have adapted and anticipated what the digital audiovisual digital sector has needed.
“We started by making flight simulators for pilots, and this is how we have evolved over the years always hand in hand with innovation”, explains Juan Luis Bravo, General Director of MR Factory. For 5 years they entered the subject of virtual production, now they are in charge of the show of the Champions League final. At least in part.
Coordinated from Los Angeles by IYA Productions under the creative idea of the artist Es Devlin, the job of the Spanish production company was to put the digital tone to the story. Or in other words, the images that replace the green or chroma panel on which Selena Gómez, Marshmello Y Khalid They shot the video of the show of the final tonight.
“What we have done has been to create the 3D scenarios from the initial idea”, they explain. Remotely, the MR Factory team generated the story so that at the time of recording, it was viewed directly on the production screens. Afterwards, they are in charge of polishing the content and rendering it for publication.
The 7-day challenge to reach the final of the Championns
The show for the Champions League final has been closed and gestated for months. The reality is that the team led by Bravo had to do the job in just 7 days.
On May 14, the team of the Spanish production company received the worst news: the UEFA meeting changed location. The stadium in Turkey went on to be held in Porto. And while in an old-school show this would have meant nothing more than a logistical change, for a video it was something else. Much of the images, focused on the Turkish stadium, ended up in the trash in a matter of minutes.
The team had to generate, from scratch, another 150 complete plans (light, textures, dimensions…) of the new location and integrate them into the rest of the montage. The same job in just a few days that, from MR Factory, they assure that it was about to be in danger in more than a moment.
In the audiovisual Champions League final
Beyond football and the Champions League final, MR Factory has a long history full of well-known names behind it.
On the one hand, it is the only Spanish company approved as an Epic Games partner in virtual production. But it also appears on the big screen and television under the name of big projects. Collaborating in Sony productions and some advertising product, one of his greatest successes is La Casa de Papel. The Spanish company confirms that it has been working on the digitization of the chromas of La Casa de Papel 5, the last season of one of the most popular Netflix series. Also for another hit title from the house in car chase scenes: Sky Red. Now they work for an Amazon documentary focused on real locations in Spain, but logically from a chroma.
Be that as it may, the company is clear about it: the topic of digital innovation in the audiovisual sector has grown in recent years, but the pandemic has been decisive. The Champions League final has had to reinvent itself, but also the world of cinema. “The fact of not being able to record in real locations due to the coronavirus issue has been essential,” they explain. Many consciences have been raised that have realized that, perhaps, sending a team of 150 people to record a scene to the other side of the world is not sustainable either for the accounts or for the environment.
And while it is true that the use of chroma is not a novelty – that they tell James Cameron and his Avatar saga -, it is true that it is crossing borders. Focused on animated, fantasy or science fiction productions, audiovisual digitization is seeing its possibilities in sectors never before imagined. Companies like MR Factory point out that are on the rise of a sector You have not yet explored all of your options. If before the big productions put the digital issue as something on the table, but not at the beginning of the pile, now they take the sector very seriously.