ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — Australian screen production company AMPCO Studios and Los Angeles-based Stargate Studios have opened Stargate Studios Australia, providing virtual production technology designed to assist Australian screen production in getting back to work during the pandemic. The deal also extends Australia’s capabilities for the increase of big budget movie production from the US.
Stargate Studios (www.stargatestudios.net) is an award-winning production company that has been on the cutting edge of virtual sets and virtual production for over 30 years. The studio’s proprietary virtual backlot technology, called ThruView, is transforming global productions and helping address COVID-19 concerns internationally. Using the latest in gaming and Artificial Intelligence technologies, mixed with decades of experience in “virtual sets”, a screen production that needs multiple real locations for the story can now be more easily made in one studio.
Stargate’s ThruView was recently used on the HBO series Run, and will now also be used on productions in Australia in much the same way that it has been used in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. ThruView is a realtime virtual production system that enhances creative possibilities for filmmakers and largely eliminates the need for green screen and extensive post production or VFX work. This approach provides an affordable alternative to not only establishing a controlled filming environment for COVID-19 protocols, but also provides cost effective new opportunities to Australian filmmakers to enhance the creativity of their work.
Stargate Studios Australia will be based out of AMPCO Studios in Adelaide, with the ThruView system able to be assembled on any stage, which can be any adapted space in any location across the country. Stargate Australia’s first project will be The Alchemyst, produced by AMPCO Studios and newly formed entertainment company Dick Cook Studios Australia. The Alchemyst is the first book in the six-novel fantasy/adventure series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by famed Irish author Michael Scott. Production is slated to begin later this year.
Stargate Studios founder and CEO, Sam Nicholson, ASC, says that returning to Australia to film with Mario Andreacchio and Dick Cook is a dream come true. “I spent a great deal of time in Australia with Jim Henson Productions filming the Emmy-award winning Nightmares & Dreamscapes. I loved the country and was extremely impressed with the creative filmmaking talent and production resources there. Given that Australia is far ahead of the rest of the world in managing COVID-19, Australia is in the perfect position to restart global screen production.”
“Timing couldn’t be better,” adds AMPCO Studios CEO, Mario Andreacchio. “We’ve been investigating virtual production and virtual studio techniques for many years, especially the remarkable developments that Stargate Studios have made in film and television production. COVID-19, and the possibility of other infectious diseases, has created the necessity that ThruView and Virtual Production should be a serious consideration by all Australian filmmakers.”