EXCLUSIVE - The Pinewod Shepperton group has increased its high definition video capability with the installation of four VCube systems for dubbing theatres at both studio sites, writes Kevin Hilton. The upgrade is part of a general refit of the facilities' post-production departments, which also includes upgraded audio monitoring systems. The Pinewood group has used standard definition Merging VCube digital video playback systems for several years. An HD version was bought when Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005) was posted at Shepperton but Pinewood's post-production facilities manager says fully upgrading the VCubes already installed at both studios did not make sense while SD projectors were still being used. The increasing demand for HD and the opening of a new media transfer centre at Pinewood led to the current refit of post suites at both Pinewood and Shepperton. This includes new branding - Pinewood Post is now the name for the operation at the Buckinghamshire studio - and the four VCube HD systems bought for both sites. Theatre 1 and the Korda Theatre at Shepperton have one each, while a third has been installed at Pinewood alongside the existing HD unit. The final home for the fourth system has not been decided yet, although it is currently in Theatre 7 at Pinewood. Nigel Bennett says the VCubes have helped create "consistent workflow and automation" for the theatres, allowing projects to be moved between different suites. "It was hard to do when some rooms could work in HD and other couldn't," he says. "And more and more of our clients wanted to work in high definition when dubbing." Audio monitoring has also been a focus of attention at Pinewood. The Icon Theatre (pictured) is now the studio's main TV mix facility and had a 7.1 PMC rig installed at the end of 2009. A similar system was due to be installed in the newly built Theatre 5. Both systems comprise IB2S monitors for left, centre right and two pairs of Wafer 1s for the surround channels. Dennis Weinreich, managing director of Pinewood Post, says the installations reflect the work now passing through the facilities. "This used to be simply a sound department for movie production," he says. "But thanks to our upgrades we can now handle a complete digital post-production workflow for film or TV. The type of work we're doing here now is very different to how it was even three or four years ago - there's a lot more TV work, for example, and we're also started a foreign language versioning service." www.pinewoodgroup.com
Pinewood goes down to Georgia
The Pinewood Shepperton studios group is to create a new film and television facility in the US. Pinewood Atlanta will be located in Georgia and the first phase of the project will include film stages and associated facilities, with the possibility of audio post-production in the future.