Written by Joe Jackson on Nov 19, 2021. Posted in General Interest

World’s largest VP stage integral to Stage Fifty’s new UK studios

Stage Fifty is opening its second film studio site in the UK. A cutting-edge virtual production stage will be included as part of this facility. It is predicted that the entire site will bring the UK economy an annual boost of approximately GDP50 million.

“We’re developing a world-class creative tech hub for the film and TV industry at Winnersh Film Studios,” explains James Enright, Stage Fifty’s CEO. “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 identified early on that a VP stage needs to be in a full studio setting so productions can fully integrate this element into their other filming activities,” says CEO of Fin Studio Pictures, Dan Constantinou. “The partnership with Stage Fifty sees us working together exclusively to develop VP stages in their new studio sites across the UK and beyond.

“Every element is best in class, from the LED panels to the backend tech. Our technical partners are working with us to showcase and seamlessly integrate their most advanced systems and software into this flagship project. And Stage Fifty has designed a sound stage large enough to house the huge fully movable screen, raising to 15m in the air and strong enough to hang 200 tonnes from the gantry.

“Our VP stage is a permanent installation, with a wealth of walk-in features making it more cost-effective for content creators from the world of film and high-end television as well as commercial shoots, live events and TV broadcasts. VP is already reshaping the industry and is set to become an increasingly powerful tool for producers to build realistic worlds and tell their stories. We have designed this stunning VP studio from the ground up to meet the needs of state-of-the-art filmmaking for years to come whilst making it accessible for everyone.”

The overall studio plan includes six sound stages, offering over 120,000 sq ft of high-quality stage space. This is supported by office and workshop space of 25,000 sq ft and 50,000 sq ft respectively. Offices and workshops are now operational for pre-production, and the stages (including a 30,000 sq ft stage for the VP volume) will start welcoming productions next year. The project organisers hope to create around 500 new jobs in the UK film and production sector, while at the same time supporting a further 500 indirect jobs in the supply chain.

“Our industry is experiencing a phenomenal growth period,” details Adrian Wootton OBE, chief executive of the British Film Commission. “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 complementary amenities already on the 90-acre business park. These features include: hotel, data centre, nursery, sports hub, cafes, restaurants, and an award-winning audio post house.

Located in what is known as the Golden Triangle for film and TV production, Winnersh Film Studios is 25 minutes from the M25, less than 30 minutes from Heathrow airport, and easily accessible from the M4 motorway. The campus has a dedicated rail station providing direct and frequent services to central London and Reading.

“We worked with Frasers Property to secure the space for the new studio at Winnersh Triangle Park,” adds Enright. “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.”

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