Tabletop is in our DNA.

Tabletop is in our DNA.

Macro image-making at Cobalt.

Let’s talk tabletop.

Our first stage was born in 1995 as a tabletop / VFX studio, and if there were a sign above our door it would read “Science in the Service of Art”. Throughout the years, we’ve invested in the right tools for tabletop work, which has often meant inventing, engineering and constructing those tools ourselves, in-house. That’s how tabletop works.

Stella Artois

Mini tools for max impact.

Tabletop is an extremely unique genre, because off-the-shelf equipment typically doesn’t scale to the subject. In fact, equipment tends to completely dwarf the subject.That’s where our specially-modified lighting and our extensive inventory of miniature grip and rigging gears come into play. To maximize the visual opportunity, you need to miniaturize your tools. We’ve done this here at Cobalt with our one-of-a-kind bellows-focusing Epic Dragon, made expressly for macro work.

Nespresso

Get cooking at Cobalt.

Cobalt’s dedicated Home Ec Kitchen is always fully-equipped and ready to roll. Our custom-built bake-up allows you to see and experience the magic of baking—in real time or in time lapse—via our motion-controlled camera. Add in our high-volume gas mains and a purpose-built exhaust system for fire effects, you’ve got the ideal setup for whatever creative ideas you’re cooking up.

Lets talk.

Want to learn about virtual production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun.

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

Virtual Production Explainer Video.

Our partnerships with Mo-Sys and Unreal Engine have been netting us some really great results on recent projects! Today, we wanted to take you on a quick tour of our Virtual Production capability, combining the power of Unreal Engine with the amazing Mo-Sys Star Tracker, and share why our clients love it, we love it, and we’re sure you’re gonna love it, too.

So, what is this Virtual thing?

Virtual Production means no travel costs, no location fees, no set construction costs or waste—just unrestricted camera movement, amazing production value, and complete creative freedom. Virtual Production at Cobalt, driven by Mo-Sys, is ONE state of the art system that works for BOTH green-screen AND LED applications. The laws of physics are a thing of the past when you work with us.

Love it, but what’s a Mo-Sys?

Good question. There’s Mo-Sys the company, and Mo-Sys the tech. Let’s talk about the company first, and why we’ve worked with them for so long.

Mo-Sys is the global leader in creating original and highly sophisticated camera technology products for film and broadcast, empowering high-quality AR, VR and Virtual Production. Mo-Sys tech has been used in films like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, Life of Pi, The Shape of Water and Aquaman. Serial television credits include Stranger Things, House of Cards, Sherlock, Orange is the New Black, and many more.

Now, let’s geek out on the tech.

Mo-Sys VP Pro is the software that powers our system. Mo-Sys’ Startracker Studio, combined with our Ultimatte 12 is a real-time synchroniser, keyer, compositor, and recorder that uses real-time camera and lens tracking data to drive all CG assets.

VP Pro has a clever set of tools that simplifies and enhances virtual production workflows, making it simpler to achieve the vision you’re after.

StarTracker is the solid solution for unrestricted, real-time camera tracking. StarTracker offers unlimited freedom of movement and gives accurate position, rotation and lens data in real-time. You can rotate the studio camera 360 degrees, and move it to any position in the studio, regardless of whether the camera is on a dolly, a crane or even handheld.

Sounds very cool, what does it look like?

Here we are, live composited, from one of our recent tech demo streams.

Yep, that’s us on set in a fully virtual environment.

What does all this mean for you and your production?

Three words. Savings, savings, savings, and flexibility. Ok, that was four.

Virtual Production means the days of flying across the globe to different sets for many locations, and using crazy resources (and a large roster of talent) are over. With Virtual Set tech, we’re able to immerse talent in previously impossible environments or environments that would have been very expensive to build. Now, we can achieve this in a highly seamless fashion, in a very cost-effective way. Plus you get ALL the flexibility.

And, no more chasing that golden hour… You can harness the golden hour all day long if you like. And “weather days” are truly a thing of the past.

Lets talk soon about bringing your production to life at Cobalt with Mo-Sys 💥

Want to learn about virtual production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun.

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

Meet Our Founders.

Get to know the people behind the soundstage

Kara Vedder, Owner and President

As Cobalt’s leader, Kara has been the ‘business’ architect behind Cobalt’s by-producers, for-producers ethos along with our holistic approach to hosting productions. With a career spent working in television, film, photography, and commercial production as producer and actor, Kara now strives to make a positive difference in the production community through Cobalt. A “happy rebel” in the Industry, Kara weaves together superior support, warm hospitality, and innovative technology to create an elevated soundstage experience. Kara’s degree in Health Sciences, as well as her passion for clean, holistic living, has been a driving force behind making Cobalt a green facility with our commitment to providing sustainable production solutions. With Cobalt’s alternative push, Cobalt’s Virtual Backlot offers viable eco-friendly and tech progressive solutions to wasteful, practical ones. The vision and energy she brings to Cobalt has placed the company as a cutting-edge industry front runner with what we call “Production Reimagined”.

Alex Fernbach, Owner and EFX Supervisor

Alex is an acclaimed Director and Cinematographer who’s worked on TV commercials and interactive experiences for the world’s most iconic brands, as well as feature films, documentaries, shorts, and trailers. His work has been featured in at least 15 Super Bowl ads, and he’s often invited to speak at universities, film festivals and Industry events. Alex’s major contribution to cinematic history was his invention of the first Array Camera in the US. He sold this revolutionary technology to “The Matrix,” to create the film’s legendary ‘bullet time’ effect. Alex pours his encyclopedic knowledge, unparalleled creativity, and passion for problem-solving into his role as a dedicated advisor and hands-on helper for our clients.

A Powerful Partnership

Kara and Alex’s complementary skills and interests add up to a uniquely compelling blend of creativity and productivity, yin and yang. In 2016, they were the 1st to bring Virtual Production to the East Coast and share it with the NYC film community. Now, in addition to sharing their soundstages, they share their Virtual Backlots while producing, co-directing or helping other productions hit the home run! Leverage Cobalt’s cutting-edge technological expertise, in-depth Industry knowledge, and unparalleled comfort and convenience on your next production. We’re not just a soundstage… We’re full-on Production Reimagined.

Lets talk.

Want to learn about virtual production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun.

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

Our new stages and floor plan!

COBALT WOODSTOCK

We built Cobalt Woodstock to offer a space that’s big enough for productions of any size. Now that we have multiple stages totaling a whopping 22,000 sq feet, we welcome not only our lovely commercial clients, but also TV episodics and features, boasting an entire building of production opportunity. We heard the rumblings of the newest Upstate New York Tax incentives, and didn’t want to be left out of the 40% rebate that surpasses all of NYC (yes, even Brooklyn) and even our New Jersey stage.

Stage 1

At 12,000 square feet, Stage 1 is our largest space, and even larger than our Hoboken space. Ready to accommodate any project, we’re fully mapped for Virtual Production!! Of course, if you’re looking to shoot full practical, we can easily do that, as well. With ceilings that soar 36 feet at their highest point, we can handle pretty much anything. This massive space (with ridiculous ceilings), is accessed through our gigantic Trojan-horse-sized sound vestibule doors – and YES, Cobalt Woodstock is also a drive on stage!!

Stage 2

Stage 2 is an additional 7,000 square feet, which offers expansion space for a wide range of projects. Often in use, don’t hesitate to holler if you want to take advantage of the extra expanse! This stage is an add-on to our Main Stage – Stage 1.

Stage 3

Stage 3 is our tidy insert stage that’s 3,000 sq feet. Close to the Main Stage, yet completely private. Whether used as a control room, a catering hall, a still shoot, a VO recording, or for motion control (where you need a bit of isolation), it’s the ideal oasis that extends Cobalt’s upscale practicality—upstairs and conveniently located adjacent to our Vanity Dept.

And there’s no reason why you couldn’t take all 3 stages! Just take over the entire building for a couple months if that’s what you need.


Last week, we wrapped on a previous “Cannes award-winning” episodic that Cobalt produced and directed. Stay tuned for our Case Study on this Virtual Production that is soon to follow as it was a great success – 5 international cities, 20 actors, ALL VIRTUAL PRODUCTION.

Our In-The-Pipeline projects include:
A sci-fi episodic, a fantasy feature film, a Rom Com feature, 2 documentaries, and a food commercial. You don’t want to miss out – give us a ring to schedule a look – can’t wait to see you up here!

Lets talk.

Want to learn about virtual production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun.

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

Virtual Production: A New Era of Filmmaking.

Virtual Production:
A New Era of Filmmaking

If you haven’t heard about Virtual…there’s a lot to catch up on.

Lets talk.

Want to learn about virtual production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun.

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

Ulster County is the place to be.

Why shoot just anywhere when you can shoot ANYWHERE!?

You know by now that you can shoot anywhere at Cobalt Woodstock. You can shoot on the Moon, Mars, India or Sealy, Texas for that matter. LOL. That’s the magic of Virtual Production.

Yeah, but what if its less expensive or just plain easier to shoot on-location??? Well, we’ve got that too! Nature and beauty resound inside our studio and OUT! Shoot some of your feature out in the wild, and then slip inside!

AND, don’t forget to have a little fun while you’re here 😉

The Music.

We got to thinking about all the reasons folks in the Industry might want to get out of Brooklyn or LA this summer (and fall, and winter, and spring) to shoot up here in Woodstock… How would you like to shoot all day, and then wind down to live music with, say, Leo Kottke or world-class musicians at Levon Helm’s Studio (which is really an acoustic barn venue of all things 🙂 Seriously, we can’t get over how lucky we are to have world-class talent playing in our backyard at a venue with such legendary legacies.

Just a quick look at concerts coming up the area shows you how deep and wide the local music scene is. We’ve got everything from Buddy Guy to Alex G to James Taylor to Shania Twain. That’s not even getting into the festivals and local acts or people playing at breweries and bars all week long. You can literally can go out and see live music every night of the week if that’s your thing.

Obviously, a lot of this is the result of a little festival that happened in 1969 and all the artists who made the area THE place to record in the intervening years. But the Arts have an even deeper history in this area!

The Arts (and the Colony).

The Byrdcliffe Colony was established in 1902, officially bringing the Arts to the area. The Colony was an experiment in utopian living for the Arts and Crafts movement. Artists, thinkers, poets, writers and philosophers flocked to the area. The Colony still exists on 300 acres, and you can take a tour of it. Each year, they have 70 artists in residence and host exhibitions, events and live music.

The Colony has drawn famous artists and visitors alike: feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gillman, educator John Dewey, naturalist John Burroughs, musicians Leon Barzin and Bob Dylan, authors Will Durant and Thomas Mann, painters Milton and Sally Avery, George Bellows, and Philip Guston, photographer Eva Watson-Schutze, sculptor Eva Hesse, journalists Walter Weyl and Heywood Broun, poet Wallace Stevens, actress Helen Hayes and entertainer Chevy Chase.

The Connection.

Looking to connect with yourself? Or something Bigger? You can do that here, too. Head to the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, to brush up on your yoga, to take a sound bath, or to practice mindfulness. They offer workshops ranging from relationships, to holistic healing, to food. Nestled in the woods, it’s a soothing, restorative place to visit.

Mohonk Mountain House sits on a secluded mountain-top lake and offers luxury relaxation in the form of spas, massage and outdoor adventure. They’ve also got have 85 miles of trails where you can wander, hike to spectacular views and connect with nature. Dine in the main dining room, at the chef’s table or outside at the Granary.

Museums are great, but Ulster County has Opus 40, a one-of-a-kind sculpture garden and outdoor museum that sits on 6.5 acres and is surrounded by beautiful meadows and forested paths. Professor and artist, Harvey Fite, hand-sculpted Opus 40 entirely from bluestone harvested, on site and it was a decades-long endeavor. This National Register Historic site was called “One of the largest and most beguiling works of art on the entire continent.” by Architectural Digest.

Ulster County is the place to be.

Yes, we know you want to be here for the 40% NY State Tax Credit, but the truth is…There’s so much to do, see, hear and experience in Ulster County – wayyyy beyond working… Give us a call, and we’ll help you find a little fun!

Want to learn about virtual production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun.

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

NJ vs. Upstate NY - What we've learned

NJ vs. Upstate NY - What we’ve learned…

We all love New Jersey. We love Snookie, Springsteen, conversations about what exit of the Garden State Parkway people grew up near. All of it… what’s not to love?
 
THANKFULLY, New York state makes it rain with tax incentives for the Industry, and gives you GIGANTIC reasons to shoot here.
New Jersey   New York
Up to 35% of qualified film production expenses
A WHOPPING 40% OFF in UPSTATE NY
 
(at Cobalt Woodstock)
 
AND 40% OFF on post-production costs as well
 

OR

30% for expenses incurred for services performed and tangible personal property purchased for use at a sound stage or other location that is located in the state within a 30-mile radius of the intersection of Eighth Avenue/Central Park West, Broadway, and West 59th Street/Central Park South, New York, New York 

AND

Nearly DOUBLE the funding pot to $700 Million

AND

A post production carve out of $45 Million

AND

More qualified ABOVE-THE-LINE costs, with double-caps:

wages for writers, directors, producers, actors, and composers capped per individual at $500,000, and capped per production at 40% of qualified production costs

 

AND

Accelerated timeline in which new productions can claim their credit in the first production year!

AND

Incentivized relocation of a series by allowing, for the first season in NY after relocation 

* relocation costs up to $6 Million

 

AND

A shortened timeline for a relocating talk/variety series to be in production before gaining eligibility from 5 years to 2 years 

Want to learn about virtual production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun.

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

HAPPY JULY 4TH from COBALT

HAPPY JULY 4TH from COBALT

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman…

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value…

Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

– Thomas Paine

Learn about Virtual Production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun 😉

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

Our New Stages Part 2!

Our New Stages Part 2!

Cobalt Woodstock.

The stages at Cobalt Woodstock are world class – built by producers, for producers. We offer ample production spaces, room for clients to stretch out and really settle in, a production office, a crafty kitchen, a gigantic prop room, and serious parking. We have a Hair and Make-Up Mezzanine with our Spa Trolley full of fresh slippers and robes, so your talent can get ready in a chill environment. We even have a Mediation Room for a little zen when you need it! Everything has been thoughtfully designed for maximum efficiency, comfort, and convenience.

We’re also a “more-is-more” soundstage. We provide more ceiling height, more hospitality , more smooth amenities, and more high-tech production tools than any other soundstage on the East Coast. Up for a spin with our eye opening Mo-Sys Virtual Production system? We take pride in our Swiss Army Knife-style preparedness. And YES… we honor the fact that streamlining complexity – even in accounting – is every producer’s love language. As always, once you’ve shot here, it’ll start to feel like home and you’ll wonder how you ever worked anywhere outside Hollywood on the Hudson 🙂

Learn about Virtual Production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun 😉

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US

Our new stages and floor plan!

COBALT WOODSTOCK

We built Cobalt Woodstock to offer a space that’s big enough for productions of any size. Now that we have multiple stages totaling a whopping 22,000 sq feet, we welcome not only our lovely commercial clients, but also TV episodics and features, boasting an entire building of production opportunity. We heard the rumblings of the newest Upstate New York Tax incentives, and didn’t want to be left out of the 40% rebate that surpasses NYC and even our New Jersey stage.

Stage 1

At 12,000 square feet, Stage 1 is our largest space. Ready to accommodate any project, we’re fully mapped for Virtual Production!! Of course, if you’re looking to shoot full practical, we can easily do that, as well. With ceilings that soar 36 feet at their highest point, we can handle pretty much anything. This massive space with ridiculous ceilings, is accessed through our gigantic Trojan-horse-sized sound vestibule doors – YES, Cobalt Woodstock is also a drive on stage!!

Stage 2

Stage 2 is an additional 7,000 square feet, which offers expansion space for a wide range of projects. Often in use, don’t hesitate to holler if you want to take advantage of the extra expanse! This stage is an add-on to our Main Stage – Stage 1.

Stage 3
Stage 3 is our tidy insert stage that’s 3,000 sq feet. Close to the Main Stage, yet completely private. Whether used as a control room, a catering hall, a still shoot, a VO recording, or for motion control (where you need a bit of isolation), it’s the ideal oasis that extends Cobalt’s upscale practicality—upstairs and conveniently located adjacent to our Vanity Dept.

And there’s no reason why you couldn’t take all 3 stages! Just take over the entire building for a couple months if that’s your thing 😉

We’re drawing attention… lots of it.
Our In-The-Pipeline projects include: A sci-fi episodic, a fantasy feature film, a sponsored episodic, and a web-based documentary all slated for Virtual Production! You don’t want to miss out – give us a ring to schedule a look – can’t wait to see you up here!

Lets talk.

Learn about Virtual Production and how to use it?

Cobalt’s got you covered. As the first company to offer Virtual Sets on the East Coast, we have the experience to guide you. Let’s have some fun 😉

ASK US ABOUT VIRTUAL

Need Production solutions and support?

THAT'S EASY - CALL US