Stage Fifty is opening its second film studio site in the UK, Winnersh Film Studios, in the Thames Valley near Reading.

The studios are operational now, with stages complete in 2022 including a purpose-built 30,000 sq ft stage that will house the world’s largest fully encapsulated VP volume.

The studio plan includes six sound stages offering over 120,000 sq ft of stage space, supported by 25,000 sq ft of offices and 50,000 sq ft of workshops.

With offices and workshops operational now for pre-production, the stages, including a 30,000 sq ft stage for the VP volume, will start welcoming productions next year.

Created in partnership with Fin Studio Pictures, the fully encapsulated virtual production volume at Winnersh Film Studios will feature an 84m x 7m screen with over 140 million pixels and tech from disguise, infiLED EM, Unity, Unreal Engine, Brompton Technology & Target3D.

James Enright, CEO, Stage Fifty, said: “We’re developing a world-class creative tech hub for the film and TV industry at Winnersh Film Studios. 

“Together with our manufacturing partners, SPANTECH, we’re building the new sound stages, including a 30,000 sq ft facility to house the world’s largest VP volume, which we’re developing with the team at Fin Studio Pictures. 

“Our stages are robust, high-quality and quick to build. And as 90% of the construction materials are reusable or recycled, they’re more sustainable too. 

“We worked with Frasers Property to secure the space for the new studio at Winnersh Triangle Park. It’s in a great location with fantastic facilities already in place. Wokingham Borough Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership are investing in the transport infrastructure to support more sustainable travel, which was another reason for choosing Winnersh. 

“One of the biggest challenges our industry is facing is the availability of skilled crew. We have exceptional talent in the UK, but there are not enough people to meet demand, so we’ll work with the local community to offer training and apprenticeships to support the next generation of great British filmmakers.

“The substantial investment in the site will grow the UK economy, support existing local businesses and create hundreds of new jobs at the studios and throughout the wider supply chain. 

“We’ve redeveloped existing spaces on the site to create offices and workshops that are in use now, and the stages at Winnersh Film Studios, including the VP stage, will be operational in 2022.”

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, said: “Today’s announcement of the opening of Stage Fifty’s Winnersh Film Studios is brilliant news for the UK’s screen industries. Our industry is experiencing a phenomenal growth period. Indeed, the demand for content has never been greater, which in turn is driving the need for greater skills development and additional studio space, services and facilities. The creation of additional stage space capacity such as that at Winnersh Film Studios will help considerably in ensuring that the UK remains a global leader in international screen production.”

Winnersh Film Studios will build on the infrastructure and amenities already on the 90-acre business park, including a hotel, data centre, nursery, sports hub, cafes, restaurants, and an award-winning audio post house.

Winnersh Film Studios is easily accessible from the M4 motorway, 25 minutes from the M25 and less than 30 minutes from Heathrow airport. The campus has a dedicated rail station providing direct and frequent rail services to central London and Reading.

VP Stage technical details:

·       84m x 7m screen created with over 140 million pixels

·       3,000m2 VP floorspace

·       Fully encapsulated ceiling with accurate pixel match

·       210-degree circumference with separate independently tracked 6m x 7m movable side screens to increase wraparound to 360-degrees

·       Screen raises 15m to gantry allowing sets to be built below

·       Both ceiling and wall can be independently moved, allowing filming runs of 60 straight meters to screen.

·       Bespoke infiLED® EM high frame rate ready LED screens with full-colour management pipeline

·       Sync sound with 0Db silent screen operation, passive cooling, and acoustic damping

·       Integrated motion control rolling road and turntable system

·       Unity and Unreal Engine cluster rendering with low latency outputs

·       Advanced disguise integration – real-time set extensions, node rendering, DMX control, video playout and full motion capture tracking solutions

·       Full rate motion capture stage and advanced camera positioning system including additional remote cameras for continued capture inside set structures engineered and configured by Target3D

·       Exclusive Brompton Technology processor configurations

·       Exceeds Netflix Large Stage Accreditation

Jon Creamer

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