Nov 02, 2020
By Kelby Clark
CBS VFX developed a revolutionary visual effects technology to bring a premium daytime TV experience to viewers of the talk show.
No one wanted The Drew Barrymore Show to contribute to Zoom fatigue.
The syndicated daytime talk show, hosted by Barrymore and produced by CBS Television Distribution, was conceived pre-pandemic. But, as producers worked toward the show’s September premiere, they wanted to find a way to retain the intimacy of a traditional studio interview despite Covid-related limitations.
The solution came courtesy of CBS VFX—an award-winning visual effects studio—which developed technology that makes it possible for guests of The Drew Barrymore Show to look like they’re in-studio, when, in fact, they’re several thousand miles away. The visual effects technology—which uses two synchronized cameras in two different locations—is the first-of-its-kind and was created specifically for Barrymore and her team.
“The CBS Television team was looking for new, innovative ways to maintain the look and feel of the show they had dreamed up,” says Craig Weiss, founder and executive creative director of CBS VFX. “Our solution was aimed at bringing people together from different locations and making it feel like they were in the same room.”
Weiss and his team focused on keeping Barrymore on set and “teleporting her guests” into the show. So far this season, Barrymore interviewed remote guests like Cameron Diaz and Tom Green in real-time, via one camera in her studio that linked with a camera at a secure set in Los Angeles. With a green screen, the California set created a digital backdrop of Barrymore’s New York City studio, while the cameras—backed by custom synchronization software—allowed Barrymore and her guests to see each other and interact in a way that appeared seamless to viewers.
"For a lot of shows in production today, you just can’t tell the story you want without having visual effects"
Executive Producer for CBS VFX