LOS ANGELES – Award winning VFX company Pixomondo (“PXO”) announced that construction of one of Canada's first virtual production studios is underway in Toronto. The facility, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, is expected to be the largest in the world and is being monitored by the PXO Toronto / Montreal studio manager, Mahmoud Rahnama.
PXO has developed a modular Smart Stage offering that includes multiple Toronto-based layouts. The stages will be available for filming and will be equipped with PXO staff on set for productions using the company's 3D environment creation services.
Mayfair Equity Partners, which acquired a majority stake in PXO in 2018, is backing the new company with a significant new financial commitment designed to support the company and accelerate growth in 2021 and beyond.
PXO has put together a team of technology partners for the new studio, including Unreal Engine from Epic Games, LED manufacturer ROE Visual and Nvidia. The first physical room and other equipment will be provided by Canada's premier television and movie rental company, William F. White International.
"It is fantastic to finally announce these new facilities, which represent an important milestone for PXO and a significant additional investment in our Toronto base," commented PXO CEO Jonny Slow. ROE, NVIDIA and William F. White, who have each been instrumental in supporting and facilitating our plan to bring a facility of this nature to one of the largest manufacturing centers in the world. "
Virtual production represents a paradigm shift in the way films are made. From virtual scouting and remote collaboration to using the latest in LED visual effects technology in the camera, this is a fast growing industry that presents a compelling triple threat of speed, efficiency and enhanced creative skills.
The adoption of these techniques has been accelerated in 2020 as the benefits such as sufficiently socially distant crews and less travel are COVID-friendly and a large number of production departments can work together practically throughout the production process.
"Over the past year there has been an explosion of interest in using Unreal Engine for in-camera visual effects from production companies around the world," said Miles Perkins, Business Development, Unreal Engine Film & Television Team, Epic Games. “The award-winning content creation, global scale and vision of Pixomondo for the future are a perfect combination at a time when new approaches to production have become essential. We're thrilled that you are choosing Unreal Engine to bring your film and television customers one of the most robust virtual production offerings. "
"Pixomondo's longevity in this business is testament to its ability to remain technologically forward-looking," added Frank Montero, Managing Director of ROE Visual US. "Roe is proud to partner with PXO on a global scale to be at the forefront of a new way of filmmaking that is as exciting as it is inevitable."
"Virtual production with real-time graphics is one of the most exciting new developments for film and television," remarked Richard Kerris, GM of Nvidia M&E operate."
"We are excited to partner with PXO by fully delivering equipment and services for one of Canada's first virtual manufacturing facilities," said Rick Perotto, vice president of business development, William F. White International.
“More than ever, virtual production has the potential to usher in a new era of filmmaking. The world is changing and the manufacturing process is changing with it, ”added Garin Josey, Executive Vice President & COO of William F. White International.
PXO has already aroused the interest of several US and Canadian productions to book the stage from the beginning of January 2021.