'Bright future': LED wall now operational at Regina's John Hopkins Soundstage

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Regina is now officially home to an LED Volume Wall, an essential tool in the expanding industry of virtual film production.

The wall is a system of linked LED panels used to project any locale - real or imagined.

The system is a crucial part of virtual productions by combining digital cinematography, LED volumes, game engines and processing platforms.

The grand unveiling took place at the John Hopkins Regina Soundstage on Monday. The system was brought to Saskatchewan in partnership with local production company Karma Film and Volume Global.

With the addition of this groundbreaking Virtual Production technology, we are uniquely positioned to create high value jobs and bring an exciting slate of film and TV projects to the province,” Karma Film Founder Anand Ramayya explained.

“We see a bright future ahead of us."

According to Ramayya, Disney productions such as The Mandalorian and the Book of Boba Fett were shot using comparable systems.

"I would wager to say that we are slightly bigger," he added.

In fact, the Volume Wall found in Regina is the second largest in North America. The largest being located in Atlanta, GA.

"It is amazing to have this technology in our province,” Premier Scott Moe said in the release.

“These LED walls are not common, and this one is among the largest in Canada. With the rise in virtual production technology usage, it's exciting to think about how many doors this will open for the industry and provide many benefits to our province."

The wall will be available to other production companies to rent.

However, there will be a lineup for those wanting to utilize the tech – as the wall is booked out to the end of 2025.(opens in a new tab)

The system represents a $12 million investment by Volume Global.

“We’ve built a citadel here with this volume," Chief Technology Officer Dante Yore told CTV News. "I think our next step here is to train locals.”


Jed Bohn is fresh out of high school and has made the training roster.

“So I’m training to operate the entire wall but as of right now," he said. "We’ve been wiring, programming, building.”

Actor Aimee Stolte will star in the wall's first production - which is set to begin shooting in late April.

“I’m from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I moved to LA for a little while to pursue acting there and to be able to be back in Saskatchewan with a project of this magnitude," she explained. "I’ll be doing Hostile Takeover with Michael Jai White. We’re shooting at the end of next month I believe.”

With the equipment in place, uncertainty surrounds whether the province can provide financial incentives to drive production. Moe said he recognizes the opportunity and may include funding in this week's provincial budget.

Film and television productions in Saskatchewan have ramped up in the past two years with the province increasing the size of its grant program.

Since April of 2022, approximately $28 million has been issued to 46 productions.

The projects generated an estimated $128 million in economic output and over 800 jobs.


Volume Global officially unveiled its LED Wall in Regina on March 18, 2024. The stage has been described as an essential tool for Saskatchewan's rebounding film and TV industry. (Courtesy: Goverment of Saskatchewan)


A sign outside the John Hopkins Regina Soundstage can be seen in this file photo. (David Prisciak /CTV News)

 

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