Coronation Street has used a virtual production stage for the dramatic culmination of an upcoming ‘super-soap week’ story line.

The scenes were shot on Manchester-based VFX company Carbon Digital’s volume wall in its RecodeXR studio.  The virtual production element of the storyline captures a tense rooftop stand-off between Kelly and Gary against a night-time Manchester backdrop.

The studio was set up in 2021 with backing from Creative UK’s Creative Growth Finance fund.  

Tim Evans, Head of Investment at Creative UK said: “It’s a privilege to be part of RecodeXR’s story. When Carbon Digital first approached us about a loan to help expand the studio’s capabilities, we knew it would be a game-changer for the company. On visiting the studio and seeing its potential, you realise what a truly immersive experience it is for actors. It’s brilliant to see this amazing technology working hard for the northwest region. We can’t wait to watch this episode of Coronation Street and we look forward to following RecodeXR’s future development.”

Sue McHugh, co-founder of Carbon Digital said: “It was incredible to see the speed at which the Corrie team recognised the expanded creative possibilities that this virtual production technology enables. The investment we received from Creative UK made all the difference. Thanks to this injection of finance, we were able to launch the amazing capabilities of the RecodeXR studio to expand our offering. With RecodeXR we can bring storylines to life that would previously have been impossible or restricted by budgets, weather and even laws of physics!”

Paul McHugh, co-founder of RecodeXR said: “We were honoured to be entrusted to deliver this ground-breaking storyline piece for ‘super-soap week.’ It was undoubtedly the biggest technical challenge we’ve ever had, with some incredibly complex shots and the obvious sky-high expectation on production quality. We can’t wait to see what the public make of it!”

Iain MacLeod, Coronation Street Producer said: “You can do things that you could never normally do in a location shoot. You can put real actors in what appears to be a very real danger without using stunt performers, you can have the camera behave in a way that it can’t do in the real world unless it’s being operated by an avenger.”

The episode airs on 23 September.


Jon Creamer

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