New LED Sound Stages Combine the Magic of Virtual Reality with Stage Acting.
What if you could shoot your first scene on Mars, your next at the Taj Mahal, and another in the Bronx, all in the same day, with the same cast and crew?
What if you could shoot magic hour…for 24 hours straight.
Sound impossible? It’s not.
Versatile Media is changing the entire game for filmmakers with the launch of an unprecedented facility in South Burnaby (just outside downtown Vancouver) featuring the newest LED sound stage technology.
Versatile’s LED sound stages (also known as LED volumes) are a big leap forward in filmmaking technology, making Vancouver a more compelling option than ever for producers worldwide.
STAGE ACTING MEETS VIRTUAL REALITY
Versatiles’s sound stages answer the question: How do you make stunningly beautiful and otherworldly films on a reasonable budget?
“Bring your locations to you instead of going to your locations,”
says Steve Read, Versatile’s VP and Head of Studio.
The multi-million dollar stages are housed in a 44,000 square foot building, and feature the newest LED volume technology. More than 16,000 LED panels cover the walls and ceiling, together forming a giant three-dimensional screen onto which digital worlds are projected. Actors perform in virtual environments of the filmmaker’s imagining, so it feels much like stage acting rather than playing to a greenscreen.
As cameras move around the sound stages, the LED panels shift perspective – constantly presenting a realistic, three-dimensional world.
Gabriel Napora, an independent producer at Electric Panda Entertainment says, “For me, Versatile is about more than great technology. They’re an important creative partner in my film and TV projects, and I think they’re at the cutting edge of filmmaking.”
SOLVING CHALLENGES FOR THE FILM INDUSTRY
Conventional filming is often dictated by lighting and weather conditions, making scheduling unpredictable. Crews work long hours outdoors in all kinds of weather to get the right shots.
With Versatile’s LED stages, actors and crews work in a comfortable indoor environment where every visual detail, including lighting, is under the filmmaker’s control.
Because of this, lighting no longer creates time restraints. Shoot nighttime scenes mid-day. Shoot dawn at midnight.
Academy Award-winning rigger, Dave McIntosh, played a crucial role in the creation of Versatile’s one-of-a-kind ceiling.
LED panels cover the ceiling, so filmmakers have the option to film wide and high – the ceiling is part of the in-camera framing. The panels also open so lighting and stunt beams can be suspended, creating endless opportunities for extravagant stunts.
McIntosh explains, “We crafted an accessible ceiling that allows for diverse filming equipment to be dropped down, making it easier to achieve complex shots.”
TAKING RISK OUT OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS
The LED sound stages are part of Versatile’s virtual production process, which is an accessible way for productions of all sizes to create spectacular films. The process begins with ‘previsualization’ to help ensure directors get exactly the shots they want.
Dominique Roy, Versatile’s Associate Producer says, “Previsualization is a director’s dream. We create a virtual version of a film, shot by shot, so ideas can be tested ahead of time. It’s an assurance you can achieve your artistic vision.”
The ability to film ‘magic hour all day’ is due in part to incredibly fast image generation powered by NVIDIA® Ada Generation GPUs. Plus, 3D scenes can be lit dynamically on set allowing creative changes on the fly. Versatile’s collaboration with Sohonet gives international studios production-grade connectivity to easily transfer data globally.
LEARNING TO FILM ON VERSATILE’S LED SOUND STAGES
On February 10 to 12, cinematographers from around the world will attend an intensive masterclass to learn the nuances of working with Versatile’s LED technology. This Canadian Society of Cinematographers (CSC) event is co-hosted by Versatile and key partners including ARRI, Creamsource Lighting, Cinematographers Guild 669, Peacemaker Studios, and William F. White International.
ABOUT VERSATILE MEDIA
Versatile Media Ltd. is a global media company founded in 1993. The company has over 500 creative and technical artists and R&D staff globally. Our North American virtual production studios and LED sound stages are located in Vancouver, Canada. The company has built a full-cycle virtual production workflow including performance capture, previsualization stages, as well as LED volumes for both servicing the film and television industry for the company’s original IP and co-productions.
Roula Lainas, Marketing & Business Development Executive
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