As one of Japan’s top five film giants, Toei Tokyo is renowned for its comprehensive business in fields such as film, television, animation, manga, and music. At the end of last year, the company constructed Japan’s largest virtual production hub, Toei VP Studios, marking the first independent operation of this type of facility by a film company in Japan. Anticipated to reach full operational status in 2024, the studio showcases a state-of-the-art LED wall comprising AOTO LED panels and powered by Brompton Technology LED processing.
Toei VP Studios offers and practices efficient shooting methods, featuring the largest LED stage and one of the most experienced 16-strong teams in the country. The facility spans 640 sqm and utilises eleven 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors, along with a whopping 24 Tessera XD 10G data distribution units.
“We have chosen an LED video processor that is globally renowned for its stability,” says Junichi Higuchi, Producer at Toei Tokyo. “As we explore new directions in visual production within the film industry, our need for more realistic rendering grows. Brompton Technology, which resolves issues such as colour reproduction, is precisely the best tool to fulfil this need.”
The LED wall is constructed using AOTO’s RM series, with MXH series for the ceiling, which can be raised and lowered to adapt to various lighting environments. The screen spans 30m by 5m, boasting a 1.5mm pixel pitch, a low scan rate, a high refresh rate, and a frame rate of 144Hz, ensuring the delivery of vivid, crystal-clear visuals. Complemented by disguise servers, ARRI cameras, and Mo-sys motion capture, the studio offers filmmakers an immersive visual experience, fostering creativity in film production.
“As the digital landscape evolves, our commitment to empowering storytellers grows,” notes Elijah Ebo, Director of APAC Operations at Brompton. “The Toei VP Studios represent an advancement in virtual production, and we’re honoured to be part of this journey together with AOTO, disguise and other partners, helping Toei empower creators to push the boundaries of storytelling.”
With Toei gradually embracing virtual production as their preferred approach, the innovative technologies employed in the studio, including Brompton LED processing coupled with its industry renowned Tessera software features such as On Screen Colour Adjustment (OSCA), PureTone, Frame Remapping, ChromaTune, Genlock, and ShutterSync®, among others, will streamline post-production, surmounting the constraints of traditional shooting regarding location, time, and weather, and granting enhanced flexibility to production teams. Additionally, the technology significantly enhances film production efficiency and delivers audience expectations for visual effects and overall production quality.
With globally acclaimed productions such as ‘One Piece’, ‘Saint Seiya’, ‘Dragon Ball’, and ‘THE FIRST SLAM DUNK’ already in its portfolio, the opportunities for the new Toei VP Studios facilities are virtually limitless.
“As a company, we believe it is our mission to elevate the quality of Japanese films and dramas,” explains Higuchi. “To achieve this, we will remain dedicated to on-going research and development, striving to become the number one studio in Japan. By actively engaging in multiple exciting film projects in 2024, we are steadfast in solidifying our role as pioneers and leaders in this domain.”
“As we witness the birth of Japan’s largest virtual production studio, we celebrate the convergence of technology and creativity,” concludes Ebo. “The Toei VP Studios heralds a transformative era in how the Japanese film industry crafts its narratives, blurring the boundaries between imagination and reality. We’re very excited about all the opportunities the studio will bring to their clients and are thrilled to be part of their undoubtedly remarkable projects next year and beyond!”