CHICAGO – This May, Smash Virtual (smashvirtual.com) will open a permanent virtual production stage in downtown Chicago, bringing this new way of filmmaking to the Midwest. The 19,000-square-foot stage will combine large LED video walls, live camera tracking and realtime 3D systems, such as Unreal Engine, to create a virtual production space for filmmakers.
Photo: Andy Jarosz
Located near Chicago’s South Loop at 2617 South Wabash, the stage will be one of the largest LED volumes in the midwest and will feature a 114-foot LED video wall complete with ceiling and camera tracking integration. The studio will offer drive-in loading and a 23,000-square-foot parking lot, as well as amenities such as production offices, lounge areas and makeup rooms, making it a complete production-oriented shooting facility. Smash will also offer content creation and 3D environment scanning services.
Virtual production supervisor Andy Jarosz will head up the new studio, bringing more than a decade of experience working in the Chicago film industry.
“Virtual production has truly shaken up the film industry,” says Jaroz. “It offers the ability to shoot a sunset all day, to move locations in a matter of minutes, and to do it all with greater realism than traditional greenscreen backdrops.”
Smash will host educational programs to better share knowledge with directors, producers and crew members the best ways to use this technology in their projects.