News 24.02.21

CUTTING EDGE: A VIRTUAL PRODUCTION STUDIO, STUDIO TRANSFORMATIONS & MORE IN 2021



Finally, it is here! Most of us are ready to shake off 2020 and get stuck into 2021. A new year and new possibilities! Cutting Edge is embracing the new year with some exciting news of their own.

As the international production boom continues in Australia, we are fortunate to welcome more productions to our shores. From sunny Queensland and down the east coast to Victoria (not to mention to the west), most States are experiencing the influx. And following on from 2020, Cutting Edge is excited to continue to engage with international productions and crew. 

UPGRADED STUDIO AT VILLAGE ROADSHOW STUDIOS

To continue to provide world-class services to both international and domestic productions, Cutting Edge’s Village Roadshow (VRS) studio on the Gold Coast has recently had a transformation. The facelift includes improved amenities, including a new kitchen, cafe, improved common areas, all set off by a branded green wall. Not to mention, state-of-the-art equipment readily available to facilitate a variety of productions, with editorial and production suites on sites able to be tailored to specific production requirements. It also includes a 40-seat review theatre with a brand new Christie CP2210 projector.

The Cutting Edge facility at the Gold Coast VRS studio means we can support productions based anywhere in the south-east Queensland region easily and down the beautiful coastline and hinterland of northern New South Wales. We are making post-production services more accessible to productions shooting in these areas.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Village Roadshow Studio on the Gold Coast. To this, we have brought this studio in line with the full-service offer of our other flagship facilities in Sydney & Brisbane. Our VRS studio gives us a unique advantage to provide post-production services to productions in the area, either utilising the Studio complex or wanting to shoot in some of Australia’s most beautiful locations. Having a post-production studio on the Gold Coast allows us to help bridge the Brisbane and Sydney gap for international and domestic productions”.

Marcus Bolton, Head of Features & Television, Cutting Edge

You can check out Cutting Edge’s latest studio biography on the VRS website.

VIRTUAL PRODUCTION – EDGE LAB

Other exciting news at Cutting Edge includes their newest venture into virtual production. Introducing Edge Lab! A research and development hub for industry professionals utilising an Unreal Engine powered virtual production stage with a high resolution 12m x 4m LED wall with moveable LED side panels. 

Based at Cutting Edge’s Brisbane studio, approximately 1 hour north of the VRS studio, Edge Lab offers creatives the opportunity to get a first-hand experience with this new technology. 

“We are making this style of virtual production accessible, in the local market, as we continue to grow and develop. Because our LED stage has been built with high-quality components and powered by industry-standard Brompton Processing, we can achieve realistic virtual environments that help with experimental shooting and environment creation”.

Michael Burton, CEO, Cutting Edge

The virtual production stage is built in partnership with Big Picture, part of the NEP Worldwide Network and supplied by Logemas and HP. 

Cutting Edge has been exploring virtual production over the last year dedicating a team to research and developing workflows within the virtual production space.

Recently, Cutting Edge had the privilege of working on Decommissioned; a virtual production short film recently delivered to Epic Unreal as part of a nationwide competition. The new LED wall was not utilised for this project. It presented a prime opportunity for the Cutting Edge team to apply their acquired knowledge and technique to an active show ahead of installing the LED wall.

Decommissioned. Courtesy of Perception Pictures & Cutting Edge

Decommissioned was produced by Perception Pictures and directed by Josh Tanner. The 5-minute Sci-fi/horror is set on the International Space Station (ISS) and follows Commander Dias as he becomes aware of strange ‘debris’ heading towards the ISS. The film was completed within a tight timeframe of 8 weeks – from beginning to end. Ambitious for any project, especially one set in space! 

Utilising the Unreal Game Engine’s power, the Cutting Edge team needed to build a new pipeline specifically for the project. A strong collaboration between the creatives and Cutting Edge’s VFX, post and Unreal Engine developers was integral to its execution. 

With Tim Schultz, Cutting Edge’s Head of Virtual Production and Lead Unreal Developer David Reece at the helm, the team set up the multi-user workflow exceptionally quickly. It started collaboratively working on the film within the Cutting Edge studio and external locations. The team started the process by taking the Director’s storyboard animatic and building an Unreal timeline for previsualization.

“We could pipe in a motion capture session for some scenes straight into the timeline, allowing us to iterate the entire film before production began. This allowed us to show the Director and Production Designer the layout of the set at scale in Unreal and discuss how the set would need to be built to ensure we could accommodate camera angles, the cast and the physical camera itself. It proved to be extremely valuable to the entire production team”.

Tim Schultz, Head of Virtual Production, Cutting Edge

Spoiler! Decommissioned did not take out the top prize on the Epic Unreal competition but made waves amongst audiences and the industry. It is included as a case study in this year’s SXSW – Tuesday, 16th March – Saturday, 20th March 2021. A massive achievement for the entire Decommissioned team. 

More on Edge Lab’s new virtual production studio.

Want to watch Decommissioned? We don’t blame you! Check it out on Epic Unreal’s Vimeo: