The availability of space for filming immersive content has just gotten bigger with the launch of Innovation Studios by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The 7,000 square-foot facility on the Sony Pictures Studios lot will house Sony Corporation's research and development efforts in volumetric video and customizable set scanning for augmented and virtual reality content creation. In addition to being the new playground for Sony's engineers, Innovation Studios will enable the company to develop new business in proprietary entertainment technology.
"By harnessing technology throughout Sony's many businesses and applying it to production here at SPE, we are giving content creators essential tools to tell real-world stories in radically new ways," said Glenn Gainor, president of physical production for Sony's Screen Gems division, who has been appointed president of Innovation Studios, in a statement. "At Innovation Studios, we will be able to take a set in India and reproduce it here in Culver City, creating a valuable digital asset. The future of production is hinged on the monetization of digitizing the analog world, and we are excited to be a part of it."
Sony plans to extend Innovation Studios beyond entertainment as well. Through collaborations with Dell, Deloitte Digital, and Intel, the studio will be a venue for developing solutions for healthcare, medicine, and education, among other industries. The participation of Dell, whose Precision workstations were used on the Ghostbusters reboot as well as Spiderman: Homecoming, is particularly notable considering its own partnership with Meta.
"Dell has been the technology provider of choice for filmmakers for many years. In fact, five out of the last seven Academy Award-winning movies for visual effects used Precision workstations to create the incredible on-film experiences," said Rahul Tikoo, vice president & general manager, Dell Precision Workstations. "We envision Innovation Studios as a place where the power of technology and the art of storytelling intersect, and we cannot wait to see the amazing content that filmmakers and other creative professionals will unleash."
Meanwhile, the studio serves as another testing ground for Intel's own immersive content-enabling processors, memory technology, networking solutions, and development toolkits. The company also runs its own facility, Intel Studios, for volumetric video capture.
"Intel is at the forefront of emerging technologies that help the entertainment industry create and deliver rich content and experiences," said Doug Fisher, senior vice president and general manager, software and services group at Intel. "We look forward to continuing to work with Sony Pictures to redefine the possibilities of storytelling and filmmaking by harnessing the full strength of Intel's technologies."
While the possibilities of augmented reality in entertainment are tantalizing enough for a company like Sony to leverage for music, movies, TV, and gaming, Sony's new move also signals the realization that the demand for capturing immersive content is a growth industry in and of itself. It's not a coincidence that Sony released a smartphone last year with native 3D scanning capabilities.
Forthcoming augmented reality wearables, such as the Magic Leap One, will call for new content capture methods, like volumetric video recording, that call for specialized studios like Sony's new facility.
"You're gonna have this time where a six-year-old in Mumbai can take her phone and partially capture her volumetric cat and then share it on Magic Leap," Rio Caraeff, the chief content officer for Magic Leap, said in an interview. "You'll have a whole broad array of user-generated content, and you'll have sixty Red cameras surrounding Taylor Swift at Madison Square Garden, and you'll be able to have her perform in your living room while you cook dinner."