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Silver Spoon elevates Netflix’s Iron Chef revival with groundbreaking technology

Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend. (L to R) Marcus Samuelsson, Gabriela Camara, Mark Dacascos, Dominique Crenn, Curtis Stone in episode 103 of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022

The real-time studio delivers augmented reality and extended reality graphics for Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, reimagining the legendary competition franchise for a new generation.

Silver Spoon, masters of the principles of virtual production, have contributed 3D visuals to Netflix’s revival of the Iron Chef franchise. Following their work on Fox Alternative Entertainment’s Alter Ego and CBS Sports’s March Madness, the studio generated augmented reality graphics as well as eight unique 3D XR environments for the competition show, helping to refresh the show’s look while preserving its essence.

Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend pits five Iron Chefs against Challenger Chefs in the show’s reimagined ‘Kitchen Stadium.’ The most successful Challenger returns in a finale for the chance to become the first-ever ‘Iron Legend’.

<Watch the trailer for Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend here>

Creating culinary environments in augmented and extended reality

The competition’s unique culinary tasks take the contestants around the world and through different cuisines, with each episode featuring a Secret Ingredient. To elevate visual engagement, Silver Spoon managed the installation and operation of a large-scale LED volume inside the “Secret Ingredient Chamber,” extending the practical set into vast, virtual worlds.

With a challenging timeline, the team prepared eight unique 3D environments in Unreal Engine, ranging from underwater scenes and chili fields to a street food market and a medieval feast. 

Supplementing the XR environments, the team developed AR set extensions, incorporating thousands of DMX-controlled virtual lights, to expand the practical set to a grander scale. 

Integrating AR and XR workflows in the production

Throughout the three-week, eight-episode shooting schedule, Silver Spoon provided AR & XR operation, with real-time compositing via Pixotope and camera tracking via Stype for four tracked cameras. Silver Spoon’s key challenge was to seamlessly integrate AR and XR workflows during shooting. Pre-production planning and collaboration among all departments proved to be the key to successfully incorporating virtual production technologies into the classic Iron Chef format.

Laura Herzing, Executive Producer at Silver Spoon, said: “Executed 100% live and in camera, AR and XR can really push the visual boundaries of unscripted television. We are proud to have created something totally unique for Iron Chef, a show that has such a well-established past. I’m excited to see virtual production continue to push further into the mainstream of media production, and explore what this means for the future of TV.”

Eytan Keller, Executive Producer & Director of Iron Chef, said: “To help reimagine Iron Chef and introduce it to a new generation, we proactively chose to integrate the dynamic cinematic look and feel that is made possible by AR and XR graphics and technology.  This transformative visual impact has elevated the format into something modern and fresh, while staying true to what makes Iron Chef great. Kitchen Stadium has never been more spectacular. The seamless integration of the real-world and the virtual world is the future of television production and we’re thrilled that it has been such a success as we revitalize this classic franchise.”

You can catch the premiere of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend on June 15th on Netflix.

Credits

Executive Producers: Eytan Keller, Daniel Calin, Ross Weintraub

Production Company: Keller Productions, in association with 3 Ball Productions

AR/XR Content & Operation – Silver Spoon

LED – Fuse Technical Group

Camera Tracking – Stype

 

About Silver Spoon

Silver Spoon excels at real-time virtual production. They work nimbly across industries from film, broadcast, and gaming to television, commercials and music video production. Their mission is simple, constantly innovate to expand the boundaries of real-time production.

silverspoonanimation.com/

About Iron Chef

Series Premiere Date: June 15, 2022

Synopsis: The legendary Iron Chef series is reborn with a supersized approach to the ground-breaking culinary competition that started it all. It’s been called the toughest culinary challenge a chef will ever experience. This is where world-class cuisine meets high-octane sports. Five new trailblazing Iron Chefs will welcome brave Challenger Chefs to the reimagined Kitchen Stadium, where they’ll face off and be pushed to the limits of endurance and creativity, as they cook up extraordinary culinary creations. The competition’s most successful Challenger will return to battle in a grand finale for the chance to be named the first ever “Iron Legend.”  The series is based on Fuji Television Network’s format.

Iron Chefs: Curtis Stone, Dominique Crenn, Marcus Samuelsson, Ming Tsai and Gabriela Cámara.

Challenger Chefs: Mason Hereford, Curtis Duffy, Claudette Zepeda, Esther Choi, Gregory Gourdet, Mei Lin and Yia Vang.

Judges: Andrew Zimmern and Nilou Motamed will serve as series judges along with guest judges Francis Lam, Nancy Silverton, Justin Willman, Danny Trejo, Lorena Garcia, Loni Love, Wolfgang Puck and Masaharu Morimoto.

Hosts: Alton Brown and Kristen Kish with Mark Dacascos as The Chairman.

Executive Producers: Eytan Keller, Daniel Calin, Ross Weintraub

Production Company: Keller Productions, in association with 3 Ball Productions

Format: Unscripted (8 x 45-minute episodes)

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