Hilary Duff has shared photos from the set of How I Met Your Father before, but on Thursday, Disney released a special photo of Duff and the rest of the cast in character. They all smiled in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, but they weren't really in front of the iconic bridge. The photo is from a scene filmed at Industrial Light and Magic's new virtual production stage, The Infinity, at Disney's Burbank studios.
The show's first season includes a scene with all the characters walking across the bridge in New York City, where the show is set, just like How I Met Your Mother. However, the show is filmed in Los Angeles, and rather than fly everyone out to New York during the coronavirus pandemic, the producers decided to use the same technology The Mandalorian uses to make Star Wars locations come to life. Disney General Entertainment Content, Disney Television Studios, and ILM turned Stage 1 into a state-of-the-art facility with the StafeCraft technology already seen in the Disney+ Star Wars show.
"I was able to spend the day in Burbank shooting a scene on the Brooklyn Bridge," HIMYF executive producer Pamela Fryman told Variety. "The logistics and price tag of shooting on location (even when there's not a pandemic) would have made this scene impossible - but thanks to this new technology the scene is in the can."
Disney plans to use the technology more often for its television productions, which usually have VFX that can't hold a candle to big-budget movies. Even a sitcom like HIMYF could potentially look as good as a drama set in a galaxy far, far away. "This stage will serve as an extraordinary resource for creatives both inside and outside the Walt Disney Company, bringing this groundbreaking technology- often used in feature films and effects-laden series- to episodic television production," Disney Television Studios production executive John Ziffren and technology executive Alex Grimwade told Variety. "It's a huge step forward for our television operations and we're excited to have this tremendous resource for our creative partners as well as other industry producers."
HIMYF is a sequel to HIMYM, with Duff starring as Sophie, who tells her son how she met their father in 2021, with the help of her close friends. Former Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall was cast to narrate the show, similar to how Bob Saget narrated HIMYM as the future Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor onscreen. Chris Lowell, Francia Raisa, Tom Ainsley, Tien Tran, and Suraj Sharma also star in the 10-episode first season. Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger act as showrunners. The series will be released on Hulu next year.