Eastbourne becomes home to an entertainment evolution!
Developing opportunities for film & TV production, education & technical innovation, Racquet Studios has launched in Eastbourne, East Sussex, utilising a prestigious building in the creative Devonshire Quarter to create an ambitious and forward-thinking virtual film production facility.
Locate East Sussex were thrilled to be invited to explore their brand new facility at a launch event on 6th June.
“It just takes a quick walk outside Racquet Studios for 5 minutes to see how incredible Eastbourne is. A great deal of the team are from Eastbourne, and we have seen the increase in creative talent in the area, and an influx of creative led businesses. We were really keen to bring this kind of solution, this kind of technology to the region and to dedicate a big part of our time to the education process, to development and retain skills in the area.”Managing Director of Racquet Studios
Created by well-established creative agency Mediabite Group, who offer a variety of media solutions from press distribution to stills, motion and 3D creatives, Racquet Studios takes their offering to a whole new level, utilising cutting edge technology, and the experience of themselves and their partners to make a meaningful impact on the production industry and to businesses across South East England.
The global virtual production market was worth £1,260.5 million in 2019 and is projected to continue to grow another 15.8% by 2027. Virtual production leverages ground-breaking technologies to provide an agile and cost-effective production process compared with traditional production techniques.
What is Virtual Production?
Fusing camera-tracking technology with state-of-the-art video game engines, powerful graphics servers, high-resolution LED panels and green screens, this method of content creation has huge cinematic potential, making it possible to create versatile 360-degree, photorealistic environments enabling filmmakers to visualise digital elements, live-action footage and virtual set extensions together in real-time like never before.
The benefits of this kind of technology are endless, along with the possibilities for it’s uses, but alongside the obvious cost saving benefits of not having to fly large crews to remote locations to film small elements of a production, the benefits also extend to the actors involved, helping them to immerse themselves in the set without having to use the imagination required from a green screen.
Making a Racquet
The studio itself comprises three main facilities with two having been designed and built during the extensive, multi-million-pound redevelopment of Eastbourne’s Devonshire Quarter. The spaces, 93′ x 57′ and 75′ x 52′ respectively are both fully sound-proofed with 3-phase power and air conditioning throughout. They have fibre & HD-SDI patching with on-site catering, showers, toilets, storage, wardrobe facilities, and an on-site crew.
In terms of equipment, Racquet Studios’ HQ houses an Absen LED volume, with high-speed [10G] internet speeds, a large green screen cove, and peripheral outboard equipment. All image-based lighting running within the Absen volume is provided by a combination of Litepanels and Quasar Science products. High-output Gemini 1×1 RGBWW LED panels have been paired with Rainbow 2 and Double Rainbow multi-pixel linear LEDs to offer automated lighting alongside ambient lighting effects to augment the virtual set.
Seeing a studio of this nature In Eastbourne, East Sussex is exciting and fantastic news for both the local economy and the reams of creative talent in the area.
The UK is estimated to be losing out on almost a billion pounds worth of production income every year, due to the shortfall in studio space. And it is reported that by 2026, 30,000 new high-skilled creative/tech jobs will be required across the UK. Providing easy access to the talent of East Sussex, along with the facilities needed for all scale productions, Racquet Studios aims to put Eastbourne on the map for high tech film production.
Eastbourne has a long history of welcoming tv and film productions to the town, (Harry Potter, James Bond, The Crown, and Top Gear to name a few!) along with a heritage of commitment to the Arts and culture. The Devonshire Quarter has been home to decades of music, theatre, and Art, and the Towner Art Gallery is pleased to be the host of the 2023 Turner Prize finalists.
The towns connectivity by roads and rail, with direct and fast access to London and Gatwick, it’s super-fast broadband, and the wealth of hotels and accommodation in the area, make Eastbourne an idea choice for creative businesses to base themselves, or utilise for creative projects.
When asked about why he chose Eastbourne for his venture, Simon Skinner, Managing Director of Racquet Studios said:
“It just takes a quick walk outside Racquet Studios for 5 minutes to see how incredible Eastbourne is. A great deal of the team are from Eastbourne, and we have seen the increase in creative talent in the area, and an influx of creative led businesses. We were really keen to bring this kind of solution, this kind of technology to the region and to dedicate a big part of our time to the education process, to development and retain skills in the area.”
The UK’s creative industries contribute more than £115.9 billion to the UK economy annually and employ 2.1 million+ people. Racquet Studios recognises the importance of retaining and developing these skills in the area and is committed to supporting the growth of talent in Eastbourne and East Sussex as a whole. Working in partnership with local and national education partners including the BFI [British Film Institute] and East Sussex College, along with leading hardware manufacturers including Canon Europe Ltd, Quasar Science and Litepanels, Racquet Studios will deliver a comprehensive training program to educate in all aspects of traditional and contemporary filmmaking. The program will address the skills gap in virtual film production providing further/higher education placements and apprenticeships.
As an advocate for business in East Sussex, Locate East Sussex are thrilled to see such an innovative and forward-looking addition to the county. Racquet Studios brings the opportunity for businesses across the region to create progressive creative content, and inspires its residents to pursue careers in the creative industries. It creates the perfect environment for film and high-end TV production, whilst allowing advertisers, games developers, live events and content creators access to the very latest virtual production technologies and talent.
The weather, travel times and costs are no longer prohibitive for those with a vision, racquet studios provides night, day, sunshine and rain right at your fingertips!
“Just over two years ago I was introduced to Simon, having been told he was looking to do something exciting and innovative with tech. It quickly became apparent that a lot of his visions and values aligned with ours at Eastbourne Borough Council and so it’s fantastic that Racquet Studios has made Eastbourne it’s home, providing the town with a new identity of offering cutting edge production facilities in one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK and supporting local young people to learn the skills to be successful in the industry.”
Rob Cottrill, Chief Executive, Eastbourne District Council
To find out more visit https://racquet.studio/