LOS ANGELES – Award-winning VFX company Pixomondo (“PXO”) has announced that construction on one of Canada’s first virtual production studios is underway in Toronto. The facility, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, is expected to be the largest in the world and will be overseen by PXO Toronto/Montreal head of the studio, Mahmoud Rahnama.
PXO has designed a modular smart stage offering that includes multiple Toronto-based layouts. The stages will be available for shoots and equipped with on-set PXO personnel 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 venture with a significant new financial commitment intended to support the company and accelerate growth in 2021 and beyond.
PXO has assembled a team of technology partners for the new studio, including Unreal Engine from Epic Games, LED manufacturer ROE Visual, and Nvidia. Initial physical space and other equipment will be provided by Canada’s leading TV & film equipment rental business, William F. White International.
“It’s fantastic to be able to finally announce these new facilities, which represent a major milestone for PXO and a significant additional investment into our Toronto base,” commented PXO CEO Jonny Slow. “I am also delighted to be able to announce the involvement of Epic, ROE, NVIDIA, and William F. White, each of whom has been instrumental in supporting and facilitating our plan to bring a facility of this kind to one of the world’s largest production hubs.”
Virtual production represents a paradigm shift in the way movies are made. From virtual scouting and remote collaboration to the use of the latest LED technology for “in-camera” visual effects, this is a fast-growing industry that delivers a compelling triple-threat of speed, efficiency, and enhanced creative capability.
Adoption of these techniques has been accelerated during 2020 due to the COVID-friendly nature of the benefits such as adequately socially distanced crews and reduced travel, and because it enables a large range of production departments to collaborate virtually throughout the production process.
“In 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,” explained Miles Perkins, business development, Unreal Engine Film & Television Team, Epic Games. “Pixomondo’s award-winning content creation, global scale, and vision for the future is a perfect combination at a time where new approaches to production have become essential. We’re very excited that they’re choosing Unreal Engine to help deliver one of the most robust offerings of virtual production to their film and television customers.”
“Pixomondo’s longevity in this business is a testament to its ability to remain forward-thinking when it comes to technology,” added ROE Visual US managing director, Frank Montero. “Roe is proud to partner with PXO on a global scale to be at the forefront of a new way of moviemaking that’s as exciting as it is inevitable.”
“Virtual production using real-time graphics is one of the most exciting new developments for film and TV,” remarked Nvidia M&E GM Richard Kerris. “Our Quadro cards are specifically designed to drive these beautiful LED walls with pixel-perfect accuracy and the highest color fidelity.”
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with PXO by providing equipment and services to one of Canada’s first full-scale virtual production facilities,” noted William F. White International VP of business development, Rick Perotto.
“Now more than ever, virtual production has the potential to usher in a new era of filmmaking. The world is changing, and the production process is changing right along with it,” added William F. White International executive VP & COO, Garin Josey.
PXO has already secured interest from several US and Canadian productions to book the stage, beginning in early January 2021.