Sony, partner of USC Cinematic Arts School on Virtual Production Studio

Sony Electronics announced its partnership with USC

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School of Cinematic Arts to create a virtual production studio in the top-rated film school that will include LED walls, cameras, software and other equipment, and roll out a new program around virtual production.

The announcement was made Sunday morning as part of Sony press conference for the relaunch of the NAB industry conferencewhich opened Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center and will run through Wednesday.

Sony’s equipment and tools will be available on campus shortly, but with USC’s school year ending in a few weeks, the new program around virtual production won’t debut until next year.

Theresa Alesso, president of Sony Image Products and Solutions – Americas, said the electronics company plans to continue to work closely with USC students and teachers on the use of the equipment, in order to to improve products in their actual use.

Gail Katz, President of the School of Film and Television Production, called the deal “groundbreaking,” in a clip recorded during the presentation. “I can’t wait to see the innovation that will result.”

Virtual production is the hottest trend in Hollywood these days, fueled by remote collaboration tools, on-the-ground requirements of pandemic protection, and high-speed internet connections through 5G and wired systems. .

Shows like Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian relied on studio facilities lined with giant walls of high-quality LED screens as a sophisticated and immersive successor to familiar green screen technologies. LED screens with props allow for much more interactive and engaging performances by actors, while allowing directors and cinematographers to actually see the setting in which performances are taking place.

USC’s film school has had many high-profile partnerships in the past, starting with a big Avid investment two decades ago in nonlinear video editing systems at a new off-campus center. This announcement brought out former directors George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis, among other notables.

More recently, the school built a huge new main building, spurred by large donations from Lucas and his close friend Steven Spielberg, another longtime supporter despite attending the nearby California State University campus in Long Beach. .

Sony also announced several video cameras for cinema and broadcast, including the slightly smaller Venice 2 upgrade to its flagship cinema camera and the F5500 camera, which features a large form-factor sensor in a housing. broadcast-style.

The company also said it was improving its remote collaboration and production software, including products from its recent acquisition Nevion and the Hawk-Eye Replay product suite, used by sports broadcasters to create and share music videos. and game clips. Company partners with English Premier

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The league allows Manchester City to “create a next-generation experience combining the physical and virtual world”, said Alesso.

Sony’s move towards enhanced virtual and cloud-based production tools follows announcements made last week by rival Adobe

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and Blackmagic Design.

Adobe’s recent acquisition of video review and approval company Frame.io is now part of its Creative Cloud software suite, expanded its Camera To Cloud sharing technologies to 11 hardware and software partners, and launched a new app for Apple.

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TV streaming devices, to simplify remote review, annotation and approval of clips in near real time by executives.

Blackmagic has added a major cloud-based collaboration feature to its do-it-all software, DaVinci Resolve Studio 18, CEO Grant Petty announced Monday. It also announced several new hardware components designed to facilitate remote production and collaboration.

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