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    Hyderabad: Annapurna Studios and Qube Cinema to build India's first virtual production stage

    Hyderabad: Annapurna Studios and Qube Cinema to build India's first virtual production stage

    Hyderabad: Annapurna Studios and Qube Cinema to build India's first virtual production stage
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    By Jude Sannith   IST (Published)


    LED-enabled virtual production stages make use of LED technology to help filmmakers produce LIVE-action shots instead of travelling to specific shoot locations or using a green screen.

    Hyderabad-based Annapurna Studios and Chennai-based film innovation and digital distribution firm, Qube Cinema, have joined hands to build India’s first full-service LED-enabled virtual production stage, in Hyderabad.
    In a nutshell, the production stage aims to help content creators — the companies hope to get Indian and overseas filmmakers to use it — work on their films and release them faster, with the use of LED technology. The production stage is said to be a handy tool in enabling filmmakers to shoot the vast majority of their films within the four walls of the studio itself. The virtual production stage is expected to be ready for commercial use by October.
    "Virtual production enables the creative mind to imagine without limit and then create it,” said Nagarjuna Akkineni of Annapurna Studios, “We are proud to partner with Qube. Our strength and experience in making movies and running studios, in tandem with Qube’s technical knowledge makes this a great collaboration."
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    "In Annapurna Studios, we have found a partner who brings decades of experience, a deep love for cinema and many shared values to the table,” said Senthil Kumar, co-founder at Qube Cinema, "We are thrilled to be working with them on virtual production."
    At the heart of Qube and Annapurna’s upcoming production stage will be its indispensible centrepiece: a 20-foot high and 60-foot wide curved 2.3mm LED screen. A joint statement from Qube Cinema and Annapurna Studios said the screen would boast of a wide gamut of colours, high brightness, and state-of-the-art camera tracking and rendering systems.
    The system will also be capable of rendering complex photorealistic virtual locations in real time, which greatly reduces the need for composing shots and travelling to shoot locations. Shooting films on an LED-enabled production stage also means that actors and the camera get to see close-to-final shots in real time, resulting in a LIVE action set.
    The post-pandemic OTT boom has resulted in a bigger market for content now than ever before. As a result — and also partly thanks to pandemic-induced delays in film shoots — filmmakers have been given the mandate to wrap up productions quicker than they’re usually accustomed to. LED-enabled virtual stages help achieve this objective owing to fewer production and logistical bottlenecks while filmmaking, including at times, overseas travel to filming locations.
    Historically, there are three ways of shooting a film set in a location — get the cast and crew to the location in question, or use a green screen and superimpose scenery later. The third and more recent method is to make use of an LED-enabled virtual production stage to shoot scenes.
    This method sees the studio space consists of massive LED screens, which in turn have visuals of the desired scenery, beamed onto them while the scene is being shot. Famous films like The Mandalorian have made use of this method, which has been met with critical acclaim thanks to its resulting visual brilliance.
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