Studio operator Stage Fifty is opening its second film site in the UK, Winnersh Film Studios, near Reading, which will include a massive virtual production stage.

The studio plan includes six sound stages with over 120,000 sq ft of stage space, including a 30,000 sq ft virtual production stage, supported by offices and workshops.

Winnersh VP stage pic

Winnersh VP stage

Winnersh’s offices and workshops are operational now for pre-production, while the stages will start welcoming productions next year.

Created in partnership with Fin Studio Pictures, the fully encapsulated virtual production volume at Winnersh Film Studios will feature an 84m x 7m screen with over 140 million pixels and tech from disguise, infiLED EM, Unity, Unreal Engine, Brompton Technology and Target3D.

Dan Constantinou, CEO of Fin Studio Pictures, said: “We identified early on that a VP stage needs to be in a full studio setting so productions can fully integrate this element into their other filming activities. The partnership with Stage Fifty sees us working together exclusively to develop VP stages in their new studio sites across the UK and beyond.

“Every element is best in class, from the LED panels to the backend tech. Our technical partners are working with us to showcase and seamlessly integrate their most advanced systems and software into this flagship project. And Stage Fifty has designed a sound stage large enough to house the huge fully movable screen, raising to 15m in the air and strong enough to hang 200 tonnes from the gantry.

Watch the IBC Awards Ceremony in full on IBC Digital here

Stage Fifty worked with Frasers Property to secure the space for the new studio at Winnersh Triangle Park.

James Enright, CEO, Stage Fifty: “Our stages are robust, high-quality and quick to build. And as 90% of the construction materials are reusable or recycled, they’re more sustainable too.”

Stage Fifty’s other UK site is the Farnborough Film Studios, which has two 22,000 sq ft sound stages.

Winnersh Studios pic

Winnersh Film Studios - Stage Fifty’s second UK site

A raft of studios are in the works in a bid to meet huge demand from content creators. Shepperton Studios announced last week that it is to double in size, while major new studios in Dagenham and Elstree are among those under construction.

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, said: “Today’s announcement of the opening of Stage Fifty’s Winnersh Film Studios is brilliant news for the UK’s screen industries. Our industry is experiencing a phenomenal growth period. Indeed, the demand for content has never been greater, which in turn is driving the need for greater skills development and additional studio space, services and facilities.”