Discovery Upfronts

New York

The brief

Long known for its innovative programming, Discovery, Inc. broke new ground by promoting its 2021-22 season for marketers and media buyers with virtual upfronts created by Final Pixel using virtual production.

A certain adherence to the presentation format is inevitable for upfronts – as a result, a number of top executives at Discovery were pre-recorded, but with a twist. 

Final Pixel had a tight deadline for the project with just six to seven weeks from the initial client discussion to the first shoot.

Although virtual production has proliferated during the coronavirus pandemic, Final Pixel often finds that, at the start of client conversations, people may not really understand the implications of this new way of filming. Educating others in this new method is paramount; showcasing real-life applications helps them grasp the potential of the technology. 


New York

Virtual Production
Virtual Art Department

The recordings saw various Discovery executives emerging from an elevator and immediately transported to different virtual settings, all driven by the topic of their presentations – from the rooftop of the new Discovery HQ in New York, to the network’s International Mission Control Center in London, and even a small town in Mississippi. Final Pixel ran the entire production process end-to-end using its own virtual production studios in New York and London to shoot Discovery’s staff, designing the background and foreground elements, and creating the virtual worlds in Unreal Engine. 

The successful completion of the project and innovative element of shooting in a real-time extended reality environment left the team at Discovery “blown away” by the quality and end result of the virtual upfronts. Feedback from the audience was equally enthusiastic with many people unable to tell that the backgrounds were created in virtual reality. 


What we did