New LED wall opens doors for the future of filmmaking in Mobile

Third Realm Creations installs new LED screen in Mobile; from movies to commercials, Kyle Bucher says it’s a ‘game changer’.
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Updated: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:30 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile filmmakers can now travel to different places-- at the click of a mouse. An LED wall has been installed at the Expo Hall in the Mobile Civic Center.

“In the course of a day, we could shoot 10 plus different sets and different scenes- we could be in Paris in one moment, Egypt the next, Antarctica the moment after that,” said Kyle Bucher, Head of the Virtual Production for Third Realm Creations in Mobile.

Third Realm Creations brought the virtual wall to Mobile- with the hopes of advancing Mobile’s role in the film industry.

“That’s the wonderful thing about virtual production is that we can rapidly fire through different scenes and different settings- all by simply changing a few things out,” explained Bucher.

The LED wall is the newest addition to Third Realm’s long-time production set in Mobile.

“This is the culmination of probably 10 years plus of work that we’ve had here in Mobile as a freelance filmmaker working with different productions coming through here. We’ve shot here in Expo Hall multiple times and have always tried to create a full-time space for productions to film at and for students to learn and crew to grow,” added Bucher.

Bucher says there are many advantages to having an LED screen... including beating bad weather.

“Here in Mobile, we know it rains. A lot,” stated Bucher.

Bucher says actors can “travel” wherever they wish to film a scene.

“If I wanted to film in the White House, you can’t do it- so you gotta build a set. Tyler Perry has a full-time White House set in Georgia- well I’m not taking a production into Georgia- I can now create the Oval Office here on this wall, put a couple desks in, and we have the entire set.”

Aside from movies, Bucher is focused on the community- from student productions to commercials and other local content.

“I don’t think a lot of people in Mobile realize how much content gets made here,” said Bucher.

Some film students get to see what life is like on set. Each Thursday, film and animation classes from Coastal Alabama Community College take a trip to the Expo Hall to put their head knowledge to practice.

“They’re really getting some hands-on experience. And they’re not the students-- they’re just part of the team, so I think that’s very important,” said Steven Hussy, Film Instructor at Coastal Alabama Community College in Fairhope.

The wall is fully paid for by Third Realm Productions, but the City of Mobile is supporting the project by providing the space for the wall.

The Mobile Film Office says Mobile will benefit from this new technology, too.

“The LED wall will increase Mobile’s presence within the film and television industry,” said Tommy Fell, Director of the Mobile Film Office.

Filmmaking is nothing new for Mobile. Fell says the industry was primarily launched when Steven Spielberg’s film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was filmed in Mobile in 1977.

Bucher says the City of Mobile will get to see some economic benefit in the form of fees paid to use Expo Hall and the LED wall. He has high hopes to expand and build more virtual sets in the Expo Hall.

To find out how you can use the LED wall for your next project, you can visit the link here.


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