Garden Studios and Anna Valley are partnering to set up a new virtual production studio in central London.

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. Together, the companies are providing a 150sqm+ volume and supporting crew and technology at Garden Studio’s facility.

Garden Studios is the largest film studio in central London with a total footprint of over 300,000 square feet and five sound stages totalling over 48,000 square feet. In terms of virtual production, the facility opened one of the first permanent volumes in London in 2020 and has delivered over 80 productions on this 12m x 4m VP stage that can be extended to 18m x 4m.

Anna Valley provides 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.

Under the new partnership, Anna Valley has built a 26 x 4.5m ROE BPV2 semicircular volume in a 7750-square foot sound stage at Garden Studio’s Park Royal studio complex. The volume comes complete 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 comes complete with 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 Studio’s extensive 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.

Partnering with Garden Studios provides Anna Valley with the full infrastructure of a professional facility while Garden Studios can now offer clients a world-class, large-scale virtual production studio supported by technical experts.

“Virtual production is an integral part of our technology-enabled strategy where we use emergent technologies to facilitate efficient film production,” says Garden Studios’ head of virtual production, Mark Pilborough-Skinner “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.”

“Garden Studios is the ideal virtual production partner for Anna Valley,” says 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.”

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.

“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.“


Pippa Considine

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