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Movie studio picks Burnaby site for state-of-the-art soundstages

One of several new projects bringing film studio space - and high-paying jobs - to Burnaby.
versatile studio
Versatile Media announced that it has chosen Burnaby as the location of its new film studio, which will include multiple soundstages, both traditional and LED, totalling 43,000-square-feet purpose-built for live-action filming.

Yet another film studio is coming to Burnaby.

Versatile Media announced that it has chosen Burnaby as the location of its new film studio, which will include multiple soundstages, both traditional and LED, totalling 43,000-square-feet purpose-built for live-action filming. The film complex is located in South Burnaby near Marine Way. It will also house Versatile’s first permanent virtual production LED volume in Canada, which is promised to be one of the largest feature-rich LED stages in North America.

This follows the City of Burnaby selling a 17.1-acre property to Larco Investments Ltd. for $136 million in November 2021 to make way for a 300,000-square-foot film studio at 3990 Marine Way. And the development proposal for the Willingdon Lands property also includes a planned 450,000-square-foot space for a future film studio. This is on top of the other studio spaces already operating in Burnaby.

Versatile will take occupancy of the building in December 2022, the company said in a statement, and will provide a traditional soundstage as well as coinciding amenities including paint and sawmill, dedicated costume areas, general offices space, and parking to accommodate a full production. The new building will complete the full-cycle virtual production pipeline service that Versatile Media has been developing over the past five years.

“Filmmakers are embracing virtual production to better serve the creative process,” said Steve Read, vice-president and head of studio for Versatile Media Canada, in a statement. “We want to empower filmmakers and expand the limits of what is possible with our technology. Our ultimate goal is to accelerate and nurture great storytelling and allow film production to catch up to the tremendous changes of distribution demanded by its appetite for global content.”

In 2021, Versatile opened its Canadian headquarters on Pandora Street in Vancouver, offering performance capture and visualization stages embracing the industry’s drive towards real-time production. Services offered include virtual location scouting, previz, techviz and stuntviz enabling full editorial of sequences and camera blocking for principle photography. The Burnaby location will complete its services offering an end-to-end virtual production and LED stage workflow to the global industry, the company said.

The building complex that is being developed by Beedie will be completed by late 2022 and ready for productions by early 2023, the company said.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.