Large-scale VP studio to open in central London
Anna Valley and Garden Studios are joining forces to launch a new, large-scale virtual production (VP) studio in central London - a 150sqm+ volume with supporting crew and technology.
The announcement follows the companies’ collaboration on the recent SMPTE Virtual Production Showcase that took place at Garden Studios and featured an LED volume by Anna Valley.
Anna Valley is a major provider in cinematic LED and processing technology and services. The entertainment technology company has an extensive inventory of ROE’s acclaimed Black Pearl BP2V2 ‘film-centric LED panels’ and facilitates a range of pop-up and hosted virtual production studios for television, corporate and film clients.
Garden Studios is the largest film studio in central London with a total footprint of more than 300,000 sq ft and five sound stages totalling over 48,000 sq ft. The team already has experience in VP, having opened one of the first permanent volumes in London in 2020 and has hosted over 80 productions on a 12m x 4m VP stage that can be extended to 18m x 4m.
Garden Studios’ head of virtual production, Mark Pilborough-Skinner, said: “Virtual production is an integral part of our technology-enabled strategy where we use emergent technologies to facilitate efficient film production.
“The Anna Valley partnership is the amalgamation of a world-class supplier and an established studio operator, our goals are clearly aligned, and this allows us to provide a state-of-the-art facility to production. It really is a win-win.”
Under the new partnership, Anna Valley has built a 26 x 4.5m ROE BPV2 semicircular volume in a 7750sq ft sound stage at Garden Studio’s Park Royal studio complex. The volume comes with an 8m x 5m OD4 ED ceiling, mounted on a motorised hoist so it can be lowered, raised and tilted up to a 45-degree angle; a pair of 2m x 2m OD4 LED totems provide additional lighting sources.
In addition to the LED volume, the studio has Mo-Sys StarTracker and nDisplay servers and disguise vx 4 is available as an option for playback solutions. Anna Valley provides LED technicians and riggers while Garden Studios’ VP supervisor and digital artists complete the technical crew provision.
The new VP stage also benefits from Garden Studios’ existing infrastructure including dressing and green rooms, production offices, kitchens and on-site parking, and virtual production clients have the option of using Garden Studio’s in-house content creation, script advice and storyboard review services.
The Anna Valley volume at Garden Studios was built at the beginning of March and the first shoot using the stage has already been completed. Both companies expect that most production clients using the studio will incorporate both traditional filmmaking and virtual production methods in their schedules and the studio therefore has a ‘D’ configuration which typically suits most drama and car scenes, reducing the need for time-consuming custom builds. However, clients have the option of reconfiguring the layout to suit their specific purposes and the volume can also be significantly extended using same-batch LED stock from Anna Valley.
“Garden Studios is the ideal virtual production partner for Anna Valley,” remarked Anna Valley’s director of virtual production, Christina Nowak. “From the moment we started working together on the SMPTE Virtual Production Showcase the synergies between the companies and the opportunity for a mutually beneficial partnership became obvious. But, more importantly, we believe that this partnership provides a world-class virtual production facility for the filmmaking community.”
“We are very proud to partner with Anna Valley to step up the ambition at Garden Studios and to welcome more virtual production projects,” says Thomas Hoegh, founder and CEO of Garden Studios. “With this partnership, we can serve larger productions and refine our expertise to serve a full range of solutions and drive forward the creative palette.“
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