Pace Pictures Installs Virtual Production Facility

LA post house Pace Pictures has built a virtual stage equipped with extensive Blackmagic Design equipment as the backbone for production.

Explains MD Heath Ryan, ““In a world where post production is meshing with production more and more we are in a perfect place for the future of production by having in the center of our post suites a fully operational virtual stage. We want to bring this technology, that has traditionally been only available to the major studios, to smaller budget films and TV.”

Pace designed a production and post facility that was able to handle almost any type of work, and their virtual studio is no different.

“On our virtual stage we're using Blackmagic DeckLink HD Extreme 3 cards for capture and playback into streaming encoders and PCs running Unreal Engine,” said Ryan. “We're also using Blackmagic Smart Videohub 20x20s, UltraStudio 4K Extremes, various Teranex devices, Hyperdeck Studio recorders and an ATEM Production Studio 4K switcher - all in various configurations based on the needs of the production.”

While the production facility was used in its early stages for insert shots, hosting virtual concerts and a variety of other work, the company quickly moved into production on their first feature, ‘Match,’ directed by Sean McGinly, which was an entirely virtual production shot in five days.

While the sets for “Match” seem fairly ordinary - an apartment, poker room, a park – the ability to shoot everything in one area enabled Heath and McGinly to move quickly, much more quickly than if on location. Even in testing, they were able to get through as much as 22 pages in an eight hour day while still switching sets, a feat unheard of on any traditional film. “We’d already pre programmed all the lights as a DMX lighting-controlled grid on Luminair, so we could just hit a button and go from Jennifer’s apartment day, Jennifer’s apartment night, Ian’s apartment day, Ian’s apartment night. The lighting would change instantly,” said Ryan.

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