NantStudios Builds Groundbreaking Virtual Production Stages in Australia; World’s Largest LED Volume
MELBOURNE, Australia & EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NantStudios, a leading technology-driven virtual production studio based in Los Angeles, announced today that the company, through its wholly owned Australian subsidiary, has built two new LED in-camera VFX stages at Docklands Studios located in Melbourne, Australia, and will operate the world’s largest LED volume. The construction includes a 40-foot tall radiused wall of 6,000 panels running 289 feet on a 25,000 square-foot stage and features a huge 59’ x 39’ x 10’ deep water tank in its center.
UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, and Matchbox Pictures chose NantStudios as the virtual production vendor for upcoming projects set to shoot in the State of Victoria. The NantStudios stages will be available to both local and international productions considering locating in Australia’s State of Victoria. NantStudios is led by Michele B. Chan Soon-Shiong, President; Gary Marshall, VP, of Virtual Production; and Keaton Heinrichs, VP, of Operations & Business Development, and is part of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies. The company offers fully integrated services including digital asset creation, AI machine learning expertise, motion control, consulting, performance capture and on-set operations. NantStudios is led by a global award-winning team and integrated with a secure layer 1 fiber network, with a family of issued patents covering cloud hybrid fabric, machine vision and computing technologies.
Comprising of cinema-grade displays and large clusters of VFX render hardware, LED volumes have caused a seismic shift in media production methodologies in film, TV and commercial production. The ability to generate photorealistic 3D environments and visual effects on set, in real time, delivers an unparalleled level of creative flexibility.
“We are thrilled to bring the next generation of film and television production to Australia,” said Soon-Shiong. “Building on the success of our studios in Los Angeles, the NantStudios technology team has engineered a truly next-generation LED stage design, and we are honored that UCP will be the first to utilize our stages in Melbourne.”
The state-of-the-art volume will incorporate a fully articulating ceiling architecture that can be dynamically manipulated directly from proprietary 3D software to craft and shape light as an integrated component of typical production lighting. The facility will accommodate a large immersive set as well as multiple sets simultaneously using modular wall sections to partition smaller footprints built within its ample volume. The second LED stage will stand at 26 feet tall and offer the same articulating ceiling design, perfect for small to medium-sized set pieces and moving vehicle scenes.
“We are so excited about the infrastructure and cutting-edge technology NantStudios is bringing to Docklands Studios Melbourne,” said Matt Vitins, Chief Operating Officer of Matchbox Pictures, which is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group. “We are thrilled at what is coming together for our immediate pipeline of international projects, but the broader aim here is to make Melbourne a hub for virtual production in the southern hemisphere. In this, it is incredible to have the commitment and technical talent of NantStudios, following on from the substantial enthusiasm and support of VicScreen, the Victorian Government and the Australian Government,” he said.
“NantStudios’ commitment to expanding in Australia is a testament to the technology and the impact it’s had on the industry in such a short order of time,” said Keaton Heinrichs. “The Victorian Screen Incentive has created a compelling financial rationale that will undoubtedly enhance Melbourne’s reputation as an international production hub. We are fortunate to be working with UCP, Matchbox Pictures and VicScreen in helping launch the stages with one of the most significant and technically ambitious screen productions in the world.”
“The marriage of the creative juggernaut of UCP’s projects and the novel technology NantStudios will be implementing in Melbourne is a dream partnership. We are braced to redraw the frontiers of virtual production once again and we look forward to bringing this technology and services to all productions shooting in the region,” said Gary Marshall.
VicScreen CEO Caroline Pitcher said, “Together, VicScreen, Nant, UCP, Matchbox Pictures and Docklands Studios Melbourne are pioneering a new frontier in virtual production, delivering the next instalment of sophisticated and dynamic LED stages backed a worldclass team of technicians. The build includes the largest permanent LED volume in the world, creating a multitude of new possibilities for both local and international productions, allowing the most ambitious and imaginative stories to be brought to life in Melbourne.”
Docklands Studios Melbourne CEO Antony Tulloch added, “The scale and functionality of the NantStudios LED stages will energise the whole Docklands Studio offering. We look forward to seeing the impressive visuals, local talent development and industry growth that will flow from the ambitious projects currently slated.”
NantStudios, a NantWorks company, founded in 2012 by Michele B. Chan Soon-Shiong, is a state-of-the-art full-service production ecosystem comprised of traditional, broadcast, and virtual production stages with high-speed layer 1 connectivity. The NantWorks ethos is rooted in the spirit of dynamic innovation, and this drives NantStudios’ expansion as it leads the way for the coming decades of media transformation. The company is headquartered in El Segundo in Los Angeles County, California. For more information, please visit www.nantstudios.com and follow us on Twitter @NantStudio and Instagram @nantstudios.
UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, is a best-in-class studio that collaborates with visionary storytellers to produce culturally significant, innovative and premium programming. Led by President Beatrice Springborn, the studio’s top titles include “Chucky” and “Resident Alien”; the Emmy® Award-winning series “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Umbrella Academy,” “Monk,” and “Mr. Robot”; Emmy-nominated series “Candy” and “Gaslit”; as well as acclaimed dramas “Dr. Death,” “The Girl From Plainville,” “Queer as Folk,” “The Sinner,” and “Suits.”
About Matchbox Pictures
Matchbox Pictures is a prolific film and television production company founded and based in Australia. It makes world-class content for a global audience. Credits include leading international adult dramas “Clickbait,” “Stateless,” “The Heights,” “Glitch,” “Safe Harbour,” “Seven Types Of Ambiguity,” “Secret City,” “Wanted,” and “The Slap”; as well as children’s dramas “Nowhere Boys” and “Mustangs FC” and non-scripted franchise titles, including “The Real Housewives of Melbourne.” Matchbox has also managed local production on a number of Universal Studio Group projects in Australia, including “La Brea,” “Young Rock,” and “Joe V Carole.” Matchbox is one of the most credentialed and awarded producers in Australia. It has won International Emmys, Prix de Jour, a BAFTA, multiple AACTAs (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards), and Logies. Matchbox Pictures is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.