LARGER THAN LIFE
UNCHARTED TERRITORY is an independent Production and Visual Effects Company based in Los Angeles.
It was founded in 1999 by Academy Award-winner Volker Engel and Emmy Award-winner Marc Weigert.
After producing their first feature film “Coronado“, which was released in more than 40 territories, they became producers on the limited historical drama series “Curse of the Ring“ in 2004 and teamed up as co-producers with Dean Devlin and Bryan Singer for the limited sci-fi-adventure series “The Triangle“ in 2005.
Uncharted Territory’s concept of integrating visual effects into the overall production workflow has proven successful in productions for Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and co-productions with the SyFy Channel and the BBC.
In 2012 Gesa Engel joined UNCHARTED TERRITORY as a Producer and Head Of Development.
Uncharted Territory started 15 years ago, in 1999, with a very unique approach to filmmaking.
While we either develop and produce our own content, or participate as co-producers in the production of a studio project, for each movie we are creating a visual effects group tailored to the needs of that single project. Within a time frame of usually only a few weeks, the complete hardware and software setup and a team of anywhere from 20 to over 100 artists and managers is assembled for each project, and dissolved again after final delivery.
This is generally consistent with the rest of a film production, but by far not currently the norm. While each film project usually creates teams from scratch for the art department, set construction, costumes, stunts, special effects, editorial, soundFX and music, visual effects is still the "odd one out". It is normally being contracted out to vendors that bid on single assets and shots. 15 years ago, we recognized that this approach doesn't make sense anymore with today's VFX heavy films, in which 50% and up is created virtually.
Since we originated in the world of VFX, from the beginning we aimed to integrate VFX into the overall film production workflow, and use VFX in the best way possible: As an integral part of the creative process, assisting the director and producers in creating the highest possible production value for each project. VFX, if used correctly, can enrich any project of any budget, and offer a toolset to realize and possibly even help extend the vision of the director. It can open up opportunities for visual storytelling and enlarge the canvas or backdrop of many scenes.
We call that Virtual Production, rather than Visual Effects. VP encompasses all steps necessary for a successful VFX-driven or VFX-supported production, from art department via pre-visualization to virtual set technology during shoot, via editorial and postvis to audience screenings, marketing, DI and final delivery.
We believe that the creative, iterative process of making a movie must be supported by smooth, intelligent and efficient workflows that allow the creative people to concentrate on the aspects that are important. Every minute or hour that is wasted because information has not been dispersed on time or because information cannot be found, or work is doubled-up, or work has to be fixed because people are not aware of the consequences or effects of certain decisions, is irrevocably wasted. Making up for lost time is impossible because there is a finite number of days available to a finite number of resources in a film production. Time lost in this process will always translate to less iterations, less educated decisions and thus - less creative choices and less production value. A lesser movie.
We made it our goal to constantly re-evaluate and re-engineer our approach to all film-making processes.