Anna Valley appoints Christina Nowak as its first director of virtual production
Christina Nowak will become Anna Valley’s first Director of Virtual Production (VP). Nowak has engaged with the rapidly-expanding virtual production market through a number of roles. Most recently, she was 80six's Director of Film & TV for VP Studios. One of Nowak’s first major tasks at Anna Valley will involve developing a business plan to strengthen the firm’s VP interests across the film and television sectors.
“The Anna Valley team knows it’s the start of a new era of production and they want to be a part of its evolution,” emphasises Nowak. “They want to engage fully with VP and ensure they have the products that will serve the market best. Couple that with a culture and vision that are really interesting and optimistic, and it’s clear that you have a solid combination.”
Nowak’s appointment to this newly-created role emphasises Anna Valley’s intentions to treat the VP market seriously. The company has already undertaken a number of creative and commercial VP projects, such as the GRM Rated Daily Awards and the Independent Music Awards.
“The primary objective is to make the company a creative hub for virtual production,” she explains. “From my perspective that means establishing strong relationships with technical partners, and ensuring that we have the capabilities to offer complete VP solutions for productions and crew. Although Anna Valley is not unknown in this market, we are effectively approaching this as a new launch because we want to have a very clear message about the services and skills we can provide.”
Anna Valley has kickstarted a new phase of investment in order to ensure that the tools and facilities to engage with the brave new world of virtual production are in place. The company made its largest purchase in VP technology to date by acquiring 896 Black Pearl BP2V2 LED panels. Bought from LED screen and display leader Roe, these film-centric panels have a 2.8mm pitch, equating to 224 sqm of LED panels and a total investment of around GBP1.9 million.
Anna Valley has also purchased hanging and stacking bars - as well as various curving plates - from Roe. Meanwhile, a separate relationship with a batch partner will allow the company to boost its capability to 1500 panels from just one batch, when a larger quantity of panels is required for big productions.
“The first version of Black Pearl was created for The Mandalorian,” details Nowak. “The fact that Anna Valley has invested so heavily in the new version, BP2V2, shows that they have got their finger on the pulse and want to provide solutions that are relevant and in-demand. But they are also aware that different products will be required for different effects, so that will inevitably inform future developments.”
As well as boasting considerable expertise in VP and other cutting-edge production technologies, Nowak is passionate about gender diversity. She has been extensively involved in Women in Film & TV (WFTV UK) and Rise – Women In Broadcast, and is an ambassador for the female-focused digital magazine Cinegirl.
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