Mystery Clock Cinema Studio Build
Dragon Image helped Alex Proyas build his ‘dream studio’ where the entire filmmaking process can all be done in one compact studio space. The Gods of Egypt, Knowing and I, Robot director says that the streamlined facility will serve as a think-tank for developing new technology and new ways to make films.
The cyclorama studio is 5m (H) x 10m (L) x 5m (W) offering a large amount of space for filming. With custom curtains and lighting truss installed on 4 hoists, the studio offers exceptional flexibility and can be transformed to suit any shoot's requirements. The Lightpro 2000XL Studio LED Bi-Colour Panel with DMX lights on the truss can all be controlled using a remote, this involves adjusting colour temperature to moving the entire lighting truss up and down.
The lighting system of Lightpro 600 RGB Flex LED lights, Lightpro 2000XL Studio LED Bi-colour panels, Fiilex K154 Spot Light and Lightpro Ultrasoft DF-1000C Round (XL) LED Panels provides exceptional versatility to create any mood lighting setup that you want.
About Mystery Clock Cinema
Mystery Clock Cinema is a film company owned and operated by Australian film director Alex Proyas who has directed films such as I, Robot, Dark City, Knowing, The Crow and Gods of Egypt. His films have made millions at the box office and I, Robot was nominated for an Academy award.
Alex and Mystery Clock wanted to build his “Dream Studio” where the entire filmmaking process can all be done in one compact studio space. The space for the studio itself is 5m (H) x 10m (L) x 5m (W) which, while not at all small, is a fraction of the size of some of the studios Alex had used before when directing films like I, Robot. For the type of filming Alex wanted to achieve, a green cyclorama was an absolute must to create virtual environments for his films. With a green cyclorama stretching the entire space, the next challenge would be to make sure it is evenly lit, meaning the lights must be positioned right at the top so they could light the entire wall, but this posed a new problem. What if he wanted to change one of the lights positioning? What if he wanted to put new lights up there? What if there was a technical issue that needed to be fixed? In a space like that, climbing up a ladder to 5 metres in the air is not only impractical, it's also very time consuming and a lot more dangerous than working down near the ground.
To help make Alex's dream a reality, Dragon Image built a U-shaped green cyclorama wall, made with the Lightpro cyclorama curves. These curves are used to create an environment where the wall seamlessly transitions into the floor, making it impossible to tell where the floor ends and the wall begins on camera. The cyclorama was first painted with coats of white paint, and then Lightpro Digi Green paint, to give an evenly spread final green screen. In addition, all walls and ceilings that weren't attached to the cyclorama were painted black, preventing uncontrolled light bounce in the space and giving you complete control over where you want to control the light.
Next came the challenge of lighting the space. To light this studio, Dragon Image supplied 14x Lightpro Studioline 2000XL LED panels, which are perfect for this type of space thanks to their beam angle of 68° and great output from the 960 0.5W LED bulbs. These lights allow for great light coverage over a large area, meaning less lights need to be used. Of the 14x 2000XL's, ten of them are angled from the edges of the truss, lighting up the three walls, whilst the remaining four are arranged to light up areas of the floor and anyone standing on it. The floor lighting is also supplemented with two massive Lightpro 600 Flex RGB panels, lighting a large area of the floor. The lights also have softboxes and honeycomb grids attached, ensuring that their light output is matching the softness of the 2000XL's. Finally, the lighting grid is complete with a Fiilex K154 Spotlight, which is used as a hair light to separate any subjects from the background.
These lights ensure that both the cyclorama and anyone standing in the space is evenly lit from above, but what about the front and sides? That's where the Lightpro Ultrasoft DF-1000C comes in. This huge circular light makes the perfect key light for any shot, with a design that allows the light to act as a singular light source rather than hundreds of tiny LED bulbs. This in turn creates a 'wrapping' effect on the subject, softening shadows and preventing multiple shadows from being cast. This adds a beautiful touch to an already soft light source.
These lights are then mounted on roller stands (with green tape on the wheels so as not to dirty the green floor) enabling Alex to move them anywhere he wants in the studio to get the exact type of lighting he wants.
Getting the lights where they needed to be would be simple enough - all that's needed is to suspend a truss from the ceiling and then mount the lights on it. However, this will inevitably create more challenges in the future, so instead, Dragon Image installed the truss on four remote controlled electric hoists (one mounted in each corner). This enabled the truss to be lowered down to the floor level, have adjustments made, and then be raised back up again.
Along with the standard benefits of a greenscreen studio, this studio’s design is perfect for exactly what Alex needs.
The space, while not massive, is very cleverly designed so that even with a small compact space like this one, there are no real restrictions to Alex’s creative genius. The 5 metre height allows Alex to shoot from low angles and still be shooting with greenscreen in the background, and the 10 metre length allows for panning shots and subject movement that would be otherwise unobtainable. This allows Alex to still have all the freedom of shooting he enjoyed working in massive Hollywood film studios condensed down to this space.
The Studio being a 3-wall cyclorama means that Alex can use ultra-wide angle lenses with no restrictions, as he is always going to have the green background behind everything - a flexibility that you wouldn't expect to have in a space like this.
The space also includes an upstairs area with editing suites and sound production rooms, truly enabling Alex to have the entire filmmaking process done in one location.
The main benefit of building a studio with Dragon Image is that we don't just provide you the equipment to make the studio. We provide you with a solution that is tailored to your exact needs and takes into account all you require to make your dream come true. Whether you need a small space to shoot your Youtube videos or a space like Alex’s where you can shoot feature length films in a similar environment to a massive film studio, Dragon Image has you covered through the entire process.
When building a studio with Dragon Image, it's not just a one time deal, we offer service agreements so we can fix any problems that may occur, or come and install new and better technologies when they are released and can even run training courses if you are unsure how to use all the equipment provided.
So if you are looking to build your dream studio just like Alex or if you have any questions about building a studio for yourself, contact your local Dragon Image today!
- 4x hoist system to allow the control height of lights using a remote
- Custom Truss system
- Curtain custom designed
- Custom Cyclorama
- 1X Fiilex K154 Spot Light
- 2x LightPro 600 RGB XL Flex LED Light. The product’s DMX control can be programmed to create different motion backgrounds like police car light or any other color movement effects.
- 14x LightPro 200WB Studio LED Bi Colour Panel with DMX
- 4x LightPro Ultrasoft DF-1000C Round (Extra Large) LED - Bi-Colour LED Panel
- 4x AVENGER A5029 Stand Roller 29 Low Base