The writer/director confirmed that his wide-spanning film will be the first feature shot on the LED volume stage at newly opened Prysm Stages at Trilith Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Coppola will be using virtual production through the NEP Virtual Studios company for the film.
Per an official statement, Coppola aims to have “one foot in the past and one in the future,” combining forms of classic filmmaking with the newest production technology. The Prysm Stage is built to accommodate a best-in-class ecosystem for physical production, including practical lighting, grip and camera, integrated into a state-of-the-art virtual production volume. Along with the new technology available to him at Trilith, Coppola plans to use new, never-before-seen techniques to create “Megalopolis.”
Writer/director Coppola is said to be spending tens of millions of his own dollars to fund the epic futuristic feature, over 20 years in the making. The film will be shot in Georgia starting in November 2022 and will continue through March 2023. The film stars Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, and Aubrey Plaza, as well as Shia LaBeouf, Talia Shire, Jason Schwartzman, Grace Vanderwaal, Kathryn Hunter, and James Remar.
The official “Megalopolis” synopsis mysteriously reads: “The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic story of political ambition, genius and conflicted love.”
Producer Michael Bederman said in a press statement, “Shooting in an LED volume opens up new ways to create our stories in film. What’s unique and exciting about shooting ‘Megalopolis’ at Prysm at Trilith is that we can marry traditional filmmaking experience, techniques and crew with the most advanced virtual production capabilities in the same space, accessing the best of both the physical and digital options available to filmmakers today.”
Coppola added, “I am enjoying working with Prysm at Trilith, as well as living in the unique Peachtree City.”
Prysm Stages president Barbara Ford Grant explained, “It is such an honor to be entrusted by Francis Ford Coppola and his team to bring ‘Megalopolis,’ regarded to be his magnum opus, to Prysm Stages. He is a legendary filmmaker, and his choice to shoot here is supported by our purpose-built facilities and best-in-class talent who are well versed in supporting the most demanding physical and virtual production needs.”
Prysm Stages offers a new virtual production experience for filmmakers with a modular stage designed with an open framework for production workflows and color pipelines that can be customized to any given project. Offering seasoned filmmakers, cinematographers, and showrunners a low barrier of entry, teams from physical production can come in and easily configure the setup to meet the creative needs of their projects. With a Georgia base, productions at Prysm at Trilith can benefit from the most generous film tax incentive in the United States, up to 30 percent with no annual cap on tax credits. The new facility is led by Prysm Stages Virtual Production Supervisor Jason Davis in partnership with Trilith Studios Director of Creative Technologies Barry Williams.
Coppola is estimated to be spending upwards of $120 million of his own money to fund “Megalopolis.” The Oscar winner told GQ that he “couldn’t care less about the financial impact whatsoever” so long as the film met his vision. “It means nothing to me,” Coppola said.