Setting the stage for Dark Slope’s virtual production studio launch

As virtual production continues to redefine the boundaries of film and television production, Dark Slope is poised to unveil its state-of-the-art virtual production studio.

Shot of the new space for Dark Slope
Jul 9, 2024

As virtual production continues to redefine the boundaries of film and television production, Dark Slope is poised to unveil its state-of-the-art virtual production studio. Nestled in a space that has played host to legends like Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Cher, this iconic location is set for its next act, merging historical significance with the forefront of production technology.

Unlocking New Realms in Storytelling: The Unexplored Potential of Virtual Production

Virtual production, a term once tethered exclusively to the behemoths of the entertainment industry, is now able to have broader appeal and versatility. Beyond the realms of big-budget blockbusters and special effects-laden spectacles, virtual production is emerging as a game-changer for more storytellers from documentaries to live action reality shows. "Virtual production is a versatile tool that's finding its place across a broad spectrum of projects," shares Raja Khanna, Co-Founder and Executive Chair at Dark Slope. This adaptability is revolutionizing how stories are told, offering unprecedented creative freedom and breaking the traditional boundaries of location and physical sets.

Dark Slope's Pioneering Approach to Crafting Worlds

With a foundation built on the belief that technology should serve the art of storytelling, Dark Slope has championed a unique approach to virtual production for all forms of story worlds. "Our company's approach to virtual production is centered around flexibility and innovation," Khanna states, highlighting the seamless integration of digital environments with live-action footage. This methodology not only supports various project scales but also fosters innovations like Dark Slope’s hyperreality TV shows, blending immersive challenges and reality for thrilling programming that has been previously unimaginable.

Why Dark Slope’s New Virtual Production Studio Is a Game-Changer

The unveiling of Dark Slope’s new virtual production studio marks a pivotal moment in content creation. Nestled within the historical 793 Pharmacy Avenue space, the studio, with its two distinctive stages, is poised to redefine the possibilities of virtual production. This strategic expansion is driven by a vision to democratize virtual production, making it accessible to a wider range of storytellers and creators. "The future of virtual production is incredibly exciting," Khanna reflects, emphasizing the studio's role in pushing the boundaries of storytelling and visual narrative. The integration of the latest advancements in LED technology and real-time game engines, coupled with a skilled team passionate about innovation, sets the stage for a new era of storytelling in Dark Slope’s 32,000 square feet of studio space. Within this space Stage A is a 12,600 sq. ft soundstage perfect for fixed practical sets, swing sets, green screen, and motion capture. Roving LED panels can also be made available for shoots. Stage B is Dark Slope’s large LED volume and includes a curved LED wall that is 75 ft. wide in circumference and 16.5 feet high, along with the team of Unreal Engine production experts, for a seamless Virtual Production experience across drama, unscripted, vehicle processing, commercial production and more.  

In addition to Dark Slope’s in-house production team, the facility is also home to 793 Productions, with vast facilities including: online and offline edit suites, audio record booths, screening rooms, VFX, greenscreen and still photography stages and commercial hardware rental solutions.  Studio 793 has access to a large array of practitioners ranging from Commercial Directors to artists and editors.

From Gaming Roots to Virtual Production Trailblazers

Dark Slope’s journey from a globally renowned VR game developer to an emerging leader in virtual production underscores a narrative of evolution and adaptability. Leveraging expertise in Unreal Engine, motion capture, and animation, Dark Slope has navigated its path to pioneering virtual production solutions. This transition was sparked by recognizing the transformative potential of LED volumes and real-time animation pipelines, catapulting Dark Slope into the forefront of virtual production. The team has supported the creation of animations through to live action content with virtual production solutions for a few years now, leveraging other studio space. This expansion unlocks the opportunity to have a greater impact through virtual production for more productions.

The Strategic Timing of Launching Dark Slope’s Virtual Production Studio

The decision to launch Dark Slope’s virtual production studio now reflects a meticulous understanding of the industry's readiness for innovative production methods. In a strategic partnership agreement with SideFX, Dark Slope is not just adapting to the evolving landscape but actively shaping it. "The recent global challenges have accelerated the adoption of virtual production," Khanna observes, noting the increasing demand for high-quality content that virtual production uniquely satisfies. This collaborative vision with SideFX and openness to further partnerships signify Dark Slope’s commitment to leading the charge towards a more efficient, creative, and environmentally sustainable production paradigm. Virtual production also plays an important role in carbon reduction in the screen industries and the time for studios to make choices that do so is now.

Is Virtual Production Right for Your Project?

For storytellers contemplating the leap into virtual production, the landscape is ripe with opportunity. "Creators considering virtual production should evaluate the specific needs and creative goals of their project," advises Khanna. With virtual production's ability to manifest dynamic, visually rich environments and its suitability for projects demanding high visual continuity, the technology stands as a formidable tool in a creator’s arsenal. Dark Slope emerges as a visionary partner, offering expertise and technology to realize the boundless potential of virtual production.

Contact us to learn more about the studio space and book a tour before the official opening.  (links here: https://darkslope.com/contact/)

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