Jørgen Stangebye Larsen

WYSIWYG – The Cyclorama of the Future

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, The Norwegian Film School

Keywords: Production Design and Virtual Production.


A PhD in Production Design and world creation through On-set Virtual Production and In-camera VFX.


How can we achieve a satisfying level of artistic, esthetic and cinematic quality in what we get, if what we see, in- camera, is a universe or world brought to life by On-set Virtual Production technology using Real-time LED walls, in combination with physical sets?


In the late 19th century people went to Cycloramas to experience constructed immersive worlds, often portraying battlefields or famous cityscapes, through 360-degree hand painted backdrops. Three dimensional physical foregrounds were also constructed to help blur the boundary between the foreground and the background, enhancing the immersive effect even further.


Fast forward to the 21st century; the concept of the «cyclorama» is now powered by LED walls containing three-dimensional real-time backgrounds, combined with, and merging with, physical set construction, live action performances and camera tracking; giving the opportunities to basically move any existing or made-up exterior or interior location or setting, into a controlled, creatively developed universe inside the comfort of a studio setting.


This disruptive technology of the traditional way of moviemaking demands new ways of reaching the goals we want to reach; and new ways of organizing ourselves through collaboration. It moves the digital creation of a movie closer to the physical creation. How can this new technology contribute to create immersive and captivating cinematic experiences; and can it affect the way we tell stories and how we create the worlds in which the stories take place? And can it ultimately enhance them?


The technology is cutting edge, but the concept of creating an immersive, believable world through a combination of different disciplines is an ancient goal. How can the physical and the digital crafts together, in the best and most effective way, create the cycloramas of the future?


This project will use professional film projects in the industry, through the role as a production designer, as a research laboratory. This is where real challenges of solving a script will drive the use of the technology forward, and where systems of collaborating can be experienced, developed and reflected upon. Furthermore, the project aims to establish the WYSIWYG Lab in collaboration with industry professionals, functioning as a hub to challenge and explore the technology through experimental test projects.

Jørgen Stangebye Larsen graduated in production design from the Norwegian Film School in 2010 and has since worked on numerous feature films both nationally and internationally, with shoots in the USA, Canada, the UK, Morocco, Thailand, and several other European countries.


He received the Amanda Award for his contributions to Maria Sødahl's "Hope" and has previously been nominated for his work on Joachim Trier's "Oslo, August 31st," Sara Johnsen's «All that matters is past," and John Andreas Andersen's "The Quake." For his efforts on "The Quake," he was honored with the Nordic Films Talent Prize, recognizing an innovative film professional who has contributed to raising the quality and furthering the development of Norwegian cinema.


A longstanding collaboration with director Hans Petter Moland has resulted in films such as "Out Stealing Horses" and "Cold Pursuit," starring Liam Neeson. Their latest project, "Thug," an American film also featuring Neeson in the lead role, is expected to premiere in early 2025.



Artistic Research Spring Forum 2024 

1st presentation

In my very first presentation at the Artistic Research Forum, I invite you in to explore the immersive world of On Set Virtual Production and In Camera Visual Effects through the perspective of Production Design and world building. Through clips from my latest feature film project, I aim to showcase my first meeting using this technology and how it ended up taking me on a journey into a PhD exploring and researching this fresh way of filmmaking further.

Kindly note that photography or recording during the session is strictly prohibited due to unreleased material.