3:02pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
'Game of Thrones' VFX House Pixomondo Constructing Virtual Production Studio in Toronto
Visual effect company Pixomondo, which has contributed award-winning VFX to productions including The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones and Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning Hugo, is constructing a new virtual production studio in Toronto, scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
Virtual production, which broadly refers to visual effects work done in real time on set, is becoming more widespread as the technology evolves. It accelerated amid the pandemic as Hollywood aimed to safely resume production, and these techniques offer the potential to reduce travel, work at social distances, and involve fewer crewmembers on set.
Mayfair Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Pixomondo, which maintains bases in eight cities across the U.S., Canada, China and Germany, during 2018, and is backing the new venture with upwards of $10 million Canadian dollars ($7.5 million U.S.), according to the company.
With oversight by Pixomondo's Toronto/Montreal head of studio, Mahmoud Rahnama, the new venture will offer a modular stage that will be available for shoots, while providing equipment rental, on-set staff and Pixomondo's 3D environment creation services.
Technology partners include Epic Games, which will provide its Unreal real-time gaming engine; LED manufacturer Roe Visual; and Nvidia, which develops graphics processing units. Initial physical space and other equipment will be provided by Canadian production equipment rental business William F. White International.
CEO Jonny Slow noted that Epic, Roe, Nvidia, and William F. White have "been instrumental in supporting and facilitating our plan to bring a facility of this kind to one of the world’s largest production hubs.”
Pixomondo's recent credits include Disney+ The Mandalorian, HBO’s Perry Mason and HBO Max’s Raised By Wolves. The company also contributed VFX to upcoming motion pictures such as Ric Roman Waugh’s Greenland, David Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut The Water Man and Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall.