” Virtual production offers filmmakers endless possibilities to redefine creative spaces and to move in real and fictional worlds without restrictions. We are convinced that this technology will have a lasting influence on filming and post-production and will establish itself permanently on the market as an innovative form of production. “
Jantje Friese, Baran bo Odar & Philipp Klausing
Producers and Managing Directors DARK WAYS and DARK BAY
” Having worked with LED Walls for over 10 years it’s exciting to see how sophisticated the technology has become, and what a potent storytelling tool it can be. What makes this particular project so fascinating is the sheer amount of technically challenging photoreal content we’ve had to create – not just environments, but also incredibly complex real-time FX simulation. “
Oscar-winning VFX Supervisor and Framestore’s Chief Creative Officer
” In the future, art and technology will merge in the DARK BAY. For productions of the highest quality, state-of-the-art hardware was combined with engineering services to create an innovative overall system in close coordination with the client and business partners. “
Executive Board member ARRI
DARK BAY – Floor Plan & TechSpecs
Active shooting area
- 7m height/23ft
- 367m2/ 3950ft2
- 1470 ROE Ruby LED – 500x500x68mm
- 1450 cd/m2
- Megapixel processing
- 319 ROE CB3 – 1200x600mm
- 64 ROE CB3 (half panels) – 600x600mm
- 1200 cd/m2
- 73 SkyPanels S60-C
- 140 ROE CB5 – 1200x600mm
- 6000 cd/m2
- Four independent tiles, movable in height 8x3m/26x9ft
Revolving Stage and (water) pit:
- 21m diameter/68ft
- 25t max. load
- Accessible pit: volume 3x6x2m/10x20x6ft
- trap door
- 20 Render Nodes/8 Workstations
- AMD Threadripper Pro 3975WX Processor
- 128GB DDR4 3200MHz ECC
- Dual NVIDIA RTX A6000 (Render Nodes)
- Single NVIDIA RTX A5000 (Workstations)
- NVIDIA Quadro Sync Board II
- Mellanox 25Gb (for DDC)
- 10Gb Ethernet (for General Networking)
- 12TB DDC connected at 100Gb
Camera and Tracking System:
- Alexa Mini LF
- Vicon – Viper X + Vero cameras
- TrackMen GmbH tracking systems
- Custom active tracking crowns
DARK BAY – Key Features
Industry first elements
DARK BAY’s Revolving Stage is unique in the world: Almost the entire interior of the volume consists of a motor-driven turntable with a diameter of 69 feet, which allows filming of real sets from all angles. This turntable carries up to 25 tons and can be rotated to any horizontal angle to support set changes without redressing. This way, physical space limitations of the LED wall are not existing anymore and conversion times are significantly reduced: Complete sets can be rotated 360° in just three minutes, plus entrances and exits of the actors can be simulated through a hatch (trap door) built into the stage.
As a second innovation in the field of virtual production, DARK BAY has nine permanently installed sprinkler nozzles (rain rig), which allow rain effects to be displayed true-to-life on 3230 square feet. The water for the rain rig is fed over the stage ceiling to the sprinkler valves. The rain is collected in a pool liner and pumped out of the stage.
For real-time tracking of the camera movement, DARK BAY uses state-of-the-art systems from VICON Motion Systems and TrackMen GmbH. The combination of two tracking systems allows DARK BAY a camera tracking inside and outside the volume.
Additional services on demand
If requested, the DARK BAY team supports every production from the scripting phase to the final VP shooting and wrap. Side services like scanning of physical sets, adjustment of LED elements, etc. can be provided on demand.
LED elements (wall, ceiling and gate)
With a diameter of 75.5 feet and a pixel pitch on the LED wall of only 2.3 mm the total shooting area of 450 square feet offers numerous filming possibilities for creatives. The modular LED ceiling, enhanced by ARRI SkyPanels, and the mobile LED gate support any scenic set-up with interactive lighting and corresponding reflections. The virtual studio is controlled via the ‘Brain Bar’, which provides eight high-performance workstations.
Optimal conditions and attractive funding opportunities in the Berlin-Brandenburg region
At the gates of Berlin, at one of the leading film and media locations in Europe, with a comprehensive infrastructure of studios, outdoor sets and recognized set construction specialists, DARK BAY offers optimal conditions for virtual film productions.
Feature film and high-end TV productions shooting in DARK BAY can have up to 25% of their production costs subsidized by federal funds. In addition, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg offers an additional 20% subsidy for digital film productions. This places the DARK BAY Virtual Production Studio in a region that has some of the highest funding rates in the world for production and digital effects.
DARK BAY GmbH
DARK BAY is a member of Berlin based DARK WAYS Group, founded by showrunner duo
Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, with registered subsidaries in Germany and UK.
Currently DARK WAYS is producing the Netflix original 1899.