LONDON — Sony has opened the Digital Motion Picture Center at Pinewood Studios in the U.K., which will be used to provide hands-on training for cinematographers and other crew members to help them get the most from Sony’s 4K cameras.
The Pinewood DMPC mirrors similar facilities at Culver City in L.A., which has helped train more than 1,000 professionals in 4K workflows, Beijing and Mumbai.
The Pinewood center is housed in a newly renovated building that dates back to 1936, which was a props store up until about 15 years ago. It will be used to showcase Sony’s CineAlta family of Super 35mm cameras, including the F65 and F55 4K models.
Spencer Stephens, chief technology officer at Sony Pictures Entertainment, who is based in L.A., attended the opening of the Pinewood DMPC, and tubthumped for the F65 and F55.
“Since I started working at the studios, technology has really evolved, and we have seen lots of innovation that has fundamentally changed the way we work,” he said. “The new generation of Sony cameras have changed the game once again. The F65 camera matches or exceeds the properties of 35mm film in terms of resolution, color reproduction and dynamic range.”
The F65 has been used on more than 30 feature films, including Tom Cruise starrer “Oblivion,” and Jaden Smith and Will Smith starrer “After Earth.” Before showing a clip from “After Earth,” Stephens explained that it had been shot in the jungles of Costa Rica in 100% humidity, and in temperatures of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The center also houses a post-production area, which contains the latest tools for end-to-end 4K workflows, and a 4K screening room. A users group, which Sony consulted, also said they wanted a bar, and so Sony bought the interior of a 100-year-old bar in Belgium on eBay, and installed it in the center, explained Peter Sykes, strategic technology manager at Sony Professional Solutions in Europe.
The DMPC, which will be open five days a week, will be able to provide both formal courses and informal drop-in sessions. Sony is also looking to work with film and television schools, Sykes said.
It will also play a role in helping Sony collect ideas from cinematographers for future product development, and to work more closely with the industry by providing a venue for events hosted by a broad range of film biz orgs.
“Our mission at the DMPC is to bring together the latest technology and the hottest talent to advance the art of media content creation,” Katsunori Yamanouchi, VP of Sony Professional Solutions in Europe, said. “We want this to be a facility of training, of knowledge sharing, and where people come together to exchange experience and learn together about the latest tools and techniques.”