The gesture-based technology that allowed the PreCrime police department to detect murders before they happen in 2002’s Minority Report is taking a starring role in the six-part CBS TV series, 48 HOURS: NCIS.
48 HOURS: NCIS teamed up with Oblong Industries, Inc, creator of the Mezzanine visual collaboration platform to visually enhance the production of the show by incorporating a specially designed Mezzanine immersive visual control centre into the production.
Mezzanine’s three-dimensional computing environment provides a stimulating means of presenting crime scene footage and revealing photographs to capture viewers’ imagination as the story unfolds.
48 HOURS: NCIS’ senior executive producer, Susan Zirinsky worked with Mezzanine to help bring to life the real-world crime cases of the Naval Command Investigative Service that are at the heart of the new series. The series takes viewers inside some of the biggest cases handled by the NCIS.
“Mezzanine’s technology helped us develop a unique visual way to enhance our storytelling and to bring these compelling stories to our viewers,” says Susan.
The idea was to look back at real-world crime cases of the Naval Command Investigative Service (NCIS) upon which the popular CBS series NCIS starring Mark Harmon was based.
Susan’s initial concern was how to make historical content come alive. It was after director Rob Klug had his first meeting at Oblong that he convinced Susan to buy into Mezzanine based only on how the three-dimensional immersion of Infopresence transformed their source material.
“We’re using Mezzanine for the new show in a very immersive way,” says Rob. “We’re actually putting the viewer inside of the control centre for NCIS. We can load all of our information into the computer and use it immediately. It happens really quickly.”
The team also realized how much they could do live that would normally require postproduction. “We’re able to manipulate things and change things on the fly in real time all day long,” he enthuses.
The amount of time this has saved is immeasurable,” agrees Ron Hill, CBS director of photography. “It enabled us to move elements in and out of frame,” he continues – which is usually done in post. “Doing it real time allows so much creativity.”