Versatile Media Ltd. has confirmed the location of its new film studio, which will include multiple sound stages, both traditional and LED, totaling 43,000 square feet, purpose-built for live-action filming. The film complex is strategically located in South Burnaby but more importantly it will house Versatile’s first permanent virtual production LED volume in Canada, which is promised to be one of the largest feature-rich LED stages in North America.
Versatile will take occupancy of the building in December 2022 which will also provide a traditional soundstage as well as coinciding amenities including paint and sawmill, dedicated costume areas, general offices space, and parking to accommodate a full production. The new building will complete the full-cycle virtual production pipeline service that Versatile Media has been developing over the past five years.
In 2021, Versatile opened its Canadian headquarters on Pandora street in Vancouver offering performance capture and visualization stages embracing the industry's drive towards real-time production. Services offered include virtual location scouting, previz, techviz and stuntviz enabling full editorial of sequences and camera blocking for principle photography. The Burnaby location will complete their services offering an end-to-end virtual production and LED stage workflow to the global industry.
Steve Read, VP and Head of Studio for Versatile Media Ltd, Canada explains. “Filmmakers are embracing Virtual production to better serve the creative process. We want to empower filmmakers and expand the limits of what is possible with our technology. Our ultimate goal is to accelerate and nurture great storytelling and allow film production to catch up to the tremendous changes of distribution demanded by its appetite for global content.”
When founder and CEO of Versatile Media, Leo Lee, completed his first feature film as a director, he began developing solutions for filmmakers to release the creative process from technical limitations. The company began to invest heavily in technology that would augment the filmmaking process. At first these tools were created for internal use and to make the film process more efficient, but after experiencing the creative freedom and success these advancements provided, the company’s endeavors turned outwards.
Not just another LED stage. Empowering Filmmakers.
Versatile’s Vancouver LED volume will comprise of 12,000 LED panels creating a 270-degree cylindrical volume spanning nearly 90 ft (27.5 meters) diameter with a connected flat ceiling at 30 ft (9 meters) and will integrate Epic's Unreal Engine and powered by NVIDIA GPU technology. More importantly Versatile’s research and development team worked tirelessly to fully resolve the moiré effect allowing the Versatile LED panels to be filmed from any angle while in focus and up to 6 ft (2 meters) proximity of the panels. Other core cinematography features include, zero latency camera tracking, filming up to 8k resolution at 120 fps, integrated virtual and physical DMX lighting console for creative lighting and colour management as well as integrated camera focus pull allowing DPs to adjust focal length as part of the brain-bar system.
“After we developed the technology, we realized how it could empower filmmakers everywhere. Film is a collaborative art. Going global is about making it possible for the best talent everywhere to work together to create better end products. We are breaking down the barriers between animation and live action workflows so that talented artists from both industries can cross over and participate, to create more potential for storytelling. I look forward to seeing exciting creative work produced in our Vancouver studios and seeing our global industry embrace new filmmaking techniques.” -Leo Lee, CEO & Founder, Versatile Media Ltd.
The building complex that is being developed by Beedie will be completed by late 2022 and ready for productions by early 2023.
Founded in 1954, Beedie is Western Canada’s largest private industrial developer and property manager, having completed more than 35 million square feet of new development, with an ever-expanding industrial portfolio of over 11 million square feet. With over six decades of building for good, Beedie has traditionally specialized in the development of state-of-the-art industrial business parks and build-to-suit facilities having customized space for both national and international companies to meet its clients’ present and future building requirements.
“Versatile Media’s LED sound stage centre represents the first purpose-built LED film stages in Beedie’s portfolio. With the continued growth of film in BC, we’re very excited to welcome Versatile and look forward to supporting their continued growth.” – Blake Asselstine, Vice President, Asset Management with Beedie
Versatile Media’s Global Plans
In addition to Vancouver’s stages, the global initiatives will also see the construction of a 12 acre film base in Hangzhou where, among other installations, 5 LED volumes will be built, in addition to their 2 existing LED stages, as well as capture and visualization stages. As a filmmaker who has worked in the entertainment & advertising industry for over 30 years, CEO and Founder, Leo Lee has served in many capacities, from CG artist to cameraman, director and screenwriter, and thus brought his varied experience into the design of Versatile’s technology. The goals for the company are to contribute to the technological transformation taking place, empower filmmakers everywhere and to bring audiences completely new experiences. We look forward to sharing and being a part of the revolutionary transformation in filmmaking with producers and studios, across the globe.
About Versatile Media Ltd.
Versatile Media Ltd. is a global media company founded in 1993. The company has over 450 creative and technical artists and R&D staff, globally. The newly created North American virtual production studios are headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. The company has built a full cycle virtual production workflow for both servicing the film and television industry as well as producing its own IP and co-produced projects.