MARS Volume was designed and built from the ground up by Bild Studios.

MARS Volume Bild Studios

The UK’s largest independent virtual production facility, MARS Volume, has opened its doors today. 

Bild Studios designed and built the performance stage from the ground up, combining video game engines, camera-tracking technology, graphics-servers and LED screens. 

As well as film and TV productions, it is aimed at giving advertisers, games developers and other creative content producers access to virtual production space and talent. Co-founders of Bild Studios and MARS Volume, Rowan Pitts and David Bajt, explained the Broadcast Tech last week what the future of virtual production holds in the UK.

In the 1400m2 facility there is the option to create a 270-degree in-camera LED screen up to 38.5m x 5.5m, and a 176 m2 out-of-camera ceiling LED screen. 

Bajt said: “Following our successful pilot of MARS 1 in 2020, it has become increasingly clear that the market appetite for Virtual Production has rapidly accelerated over the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic. MARS provides a full-service boutique solution for Virtual Productions, offering a competitive advantage to both traditional and disruptive content creators, across projects of all sizes and budgets.

“This new permanent facility offers the very latest game-changing real-time VFX production tools and technologies, with the option to create a 270-degree in-camera LED screen up to 38.5m x 5.5m, a 176 m2 out-of-camera ceiling LED screen and a 1400 m2 facility.”

Pitts added: “Over the last two decades the team behind MARS has collectively worked on film, high-end TV, video and live experience productions for some of the world’s leading filmmakers, musicians, artists and brands. These include film and TV productions such as Detective Pikachu, Brave New World, Avenue 5 and Infinity; large-scale productions for Cirque de Soleil, MTV EMAs, Dubai World Expo, Madison Square Garden, and Eurovision, as well as concerts and tours for Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Coldplay and many more.

“Bild recently announced a strategic partnership with Lux Machina, the global leaders in the VP space, known throughout the film and VFX industry for their pioneering work on The Mandalorian, Solo, Rogue One and many more cutting-edge productions, cementing our position as true VP pioneers.

“With today’s filmmakers and content producers under increasing pressure to increase the content yield they receive from film shoots, the technology on MARS promotes environmentally sustainable filmmaking that is future proofed in service to carbon-neutral objectives. As filming in remote locations becomes increasingly expensive and inflexible, visual content can be produced on MARS without the need to travel to exotic locations and our work can be carried out while maintaining the social distancing practices that have become so important over the last 12 months.”