Sony heads highlight sustainability in new VP Studio ft. Crystal LED technology
In this exclusive from our sister site, KFTV, the leaders tell Priyanca Rajput how their latest filmmaking advancement aligns with Sony's 'Road to Zero' project.
Sony Europe's head of Cinema Business Development, Sebastian Leske and Crystal LED product manager, Jeehee Lee explain the sustainable benefits behind their latest technology, as the company launches its first UK virtual production unit at Pinewood Studios.
To mark Sony's ten-year anniversary at its Digital Media Production Centre (DMPC) in Europe at Pinewood Studios, the company launched its first UK virtual production stage using Sony Crystal LED technology. The unit forms part of the DMPC and allows broadcasters, production companies, and technicians time with Sony’s experts in cinematography without appointment.
Last week's (May 16-17) launch saw Sony experts demonstrate the increasing cinematic potential of virtual production, with "unrivalled image quality" and eco-efficiency as its driving force.
Speaking exclusively to KFTV after the press launch, Sony Europe's head of Cinema Business Development, Sebastian Leske and Crystal-LED product manager, Jeehee Lee detailed how Sony's latest development boasts unmatched quality in image output at a time where more filmmakers are turning to ecological solutions to meet studios' climate change pledges.
"On the one hand, there are benefits for the director of photography for its creativity and creative choices," explained Leske. "They do not need to work around the limitations that come with green screen, so the post-production crew does need to work as hard to replace things or solve issues which has a positive impact on cost reduction.
"On the other hand, when it comes to carbon footprint - which is getting more and more important - you don't need to carry equipment and crew around the globe for a particular shoot," he added. "You don't need to think about a schedule for a shoot where the first day sees rain, or go out to Hollywood and close a street and sort our filming permits... you can bring all of this into the volume (a bank of high-resolution screens that work with camera tracking and game engine) and shoot as you wish because the sun is always out and there is no rain!"
Talent can also act and react more easily because they can see what is happening around them, as opposed to relying solely on stage directions.
Specific to Crystal LED, Lee noted the technology's traditional low power consumption and its longevity on the whole. "Maintenance-wise, Crystal LED has low failure rate so you rarely get problems with this technology," explained Lee.
Speaking further on sustainability, Leske revealed that there have been many productions around the world that have had a massive stage set-up, only to dispose of it after production, with very little opportunity for repurposing. Additionally in post-production, he explained crew subsequently realise they need to reshoot a scene so they have had to rebuild everything.
"In the case of virtual production, that means you need to rebuild a stage in front of the LED screen but the asset which we are going to build is free... it's all in the computer so you just need to turn the computer on and bring it back up. So in terms of sustainability it means you're throwing less stuff away because it's all digitised."
Finally, Lee noted how the development aligns with Sony's 'Road to Zero' project — the company's global environmental plan that strives to achieve a zero environmental footprint throughout the life cycle of their products and business activities. It sets a series of specific goals based on four environmental perspectives (curbing climate change, conserving resources, controlling chemical substances, and promoting biodiversity), and six product life cycle stages (conception/planning, operation, materials procurement, logistics, recycling and innovation).
The launch of the company's first VP studio in the UK comes after Sony partnered with with Plateau Virtuel (virtual production studio, subsidiary of the Novelty-Magnum-Dushow Group) and Studios de France (the leading set provider for broadcasting in France) to create the first virtual studio with a 90m² Sony Crystal LED B-series screen (18m wide x 5m high) in Seine Saint Denis, north of Paris, France in January this year.
The project will deliver "unrivalled image quality for producers and cinematographers alike", as Sony Crystal LED display technology is combined with the VENICE camera capture technology.
This article first appeared exclusively on our sister site, KFTV. The Sony heads were talking to KFTV's Priyanca Rajput.
Images: Sony VP Studio presentation at Pinewood and VP demo with musician.
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