TAMPA, Fla. —  If eight minutes of soaring mountain views and surreal dialogue are your bag, you are gonna want read this.

So this is kind of a dream world for filmmakers.”

Tiffany Durbin is a Junior Film major at the University of Tampa, with dreams of making music videos.

Durbin, along with rest of her UT summer cinematography class—may be perfectly positioned for a future of movie creations because they are training on the latest technology in virtual production at Vu Studio in Tampa.

It’s called an “LED Volume”—a version of a curved green screen with backgrounds that looks and move more naturally than in previous technology. Think Star Wars The Mandalorian Series camera looks. 

I think what virtual production has done for film production in general is created a kind of naturalism that was just wasn't present with green screen.” said Gregg Perkins, Associate Professor, University of Tampa Film, Animation and New Media Department.

I love the world-building, and that's partially why I'm enjoying this so much, because I can imagine creating worlds on this little screen here and like putting my characters anywhere they need to be,” said Durbin.

This is all happening thanks to a unique partnership with Vu Studio in Tampa, set up by UT Assocoate Professor Gregg Perkins. 

“The students have access to learning opportunities here,” said Perkins, as  classes will continue to come each semester, with each student able to work on shots as a cinematographer.

The only thing maybe cooler than where they are shooting this 8-minutes movie named “The Lucky” is how they wrote the script-- with artificial intelligence-- and Perkins.
The computer program they used generated a conversations between two characters with a few prompts.  
“It veers into the surreal, the bizarre,” said Perkins.

And for the actors—interpreting the script was a unique experience.

“It is a trip, I have to say, because it doesn't always make sense. The storyline isn't linear,” said actor Roz Potenza, who sits on a rock (foam) with a fan blowing wisps of generated smoke as she talks in computer generated circles to her fellow rock-sitting co-star.

Here are some of her computer-generated lines:
“So we're just going to go back in there and say hi and pretend like nothing has ever happened because we're adults, after all. And we can do adult things like act like grown ups, even though we are actually still children and we can't do anything but act like children because we are still children, even though we are actually adults who can do adult things like act like grownups.”

We may be waiting a while for AI to overtake our creative minds…
“But it feels like the technology we're using is going to be the technology that we're using in the industry. I feel so much closer to my career,” said Durbin.
The class hopes to submit their final eight minute movie to experimental festivals this fall.”