Virtual Set FAQ

Everything you always wanted to know about Virtual Sets, but were afraid to ask.

 

How do Virtual Sets get created?
A Virtual Set is a departure from traditional production methodologies in set building. Instead of planning to build with hammer and nails, you either hire a CG company or choose royalty-free assets from one of the many web-based repositories for geometries. You can buy royalty-free Virtual Sets that far exceed the production value that you'd typically build into practical sets.

How much do Virtual Sets cost?
Say, for example, you're looking for a living room set. As budgets get tighter, that living room gets smaller, less detailed. But for hundreds, not thousands, of dollars, you can buy a detailed virtual living room set with expansive views out to other rooms. If you buy a couple of these geometries, then you can easily put a set together. Keep in mind that what you're buying is editable in terms of scale, texture, color, and lighting.  What you’re buying is a geometry—a skinned wireframe. So, you can cut and paste elements, scale them, and relight them. A virtual set living room that's brightly lit could just as easily be lit for nighttime.

Virtual Sets are typically far less expensive than comparable practical sets. Instead of working with your traditional designers, carpenters, and construction grips, you're working with a single CG artist to create the set. You can go to a small boutique company, a high-end company, or a freelance CG artist. These artists are plentiful and they're all able to work photo-realistically. It doesn't require multi-million dollar computer support.

One project we hosted required three kitchens, but the budget wasn't sufficient to cover practical sets. The client opted to use our Virtual Backlot to build virtual kitchens, eliminating the need for the traditional steps in practical set building, such as design, construction, propping, rentals, scenic art, lighting, and more. Remember, with practical sets, everything also needs to be picked up, installed, dismantled, and returned or even thrown away :/ Virtual Sets are a smart solution for easing your set's impact on the planet and your budget. Not to mention, the decision to use Virtual Set by this particular  ad agency saved the client $50,000... Everyone likes to come out a hero, don’t you??

How do you make changes to Virtual Sets?
The Editable Transform function allows you to move and remove elements, even after you're finished building your Virtual Set. Say your DP wants to get a long-lens shot of people at a conference table. Through Editable Transforms, you can remove a wall so the real camera can back up in space. If you need a high shot, you can remove the ceiling to get a higher perspective. Virtual Set geometry is infinitely customizable... The camera positions are only  limited by the space where you are shooting live-action.

What happens once I pick a Virtual Set?
The next step is figuring out which components need to be practical. If your Virtual Set conference room is fully furnished with views to other offices and a wall of windows, you can remove the table and chairs with Editable Transforms and set your actors up with a practical table and chairs. If someone in the meeting uses a whiteboard, you can remove the Virtual whiteboard and hang up a real one.

How do green screens work with Virtual Sets?
With Virtual Sets, you don't need to have the entire world painted green on your practical studio set-up. You only have to cover what is directly behind your actors. So, if you have a very wide shot with two people sitting on a couch, the green screen can be a 10 x 20 piece of green, just enough to cover the live-action. The rest of it can be quickly "Garbage Matted" out. (A Garbage Matte is used to identify regions of an image that should be ignored.)

How to create a Virtual Set, step by step.
First, create your background either from custom-made objects or ready-made geometries.

Second, figure out which elements are going to be practical.

Third, shoot your scene.

Fourth, take your rough composite out of our system and use it to do your offline edit.

Fifth, color correct your CG asset to match your live-action footage.

Sixth, do a high-res render of select CG scenes.

And lastly, clean up your matte and composite your live-action element with your CG.

How do Virtual Set technologies differ?
Some technologies, such as Unreal Engine Virtual Sets, demand the presence of a"Genius Bar" or "Brain Bench" of post-production masters, onsite. This path can be risky because post-production people are not used to working on set and under-pressure. If they pause for some reason, then shooting also grinds to a halt.

We've kept our system simple, relegating this work to the post-production pipeline for efficiency and affordability, because it saves valuable time in production. (Since the onset of the pandemic, a table with five laptops side-by-side is less practical than ever. The value of Virtual Sets has been enhanced by helping our clients minimize the number of people on set.)

How many people does it take to shoot with Virtual Sets?
With one good consultative conversation, we can guide anyone through the process. Our Virtual Backlot offers a streamlined process, so all we need is a pair of technicians. That's one programming technician and another technician to handle the hardware component. We don't require a Virtual Set director or a Virtual Set DP or anything like that.

When people read about "The Mandalorian," with real-time processes happening while actors wait for technicians to push pixels around, it makes Virtual Sets seem more complicated and expensive than they have to be. For most productions, it's costly and impractical. The trick is to use the technology and your time wisely.

How fast is Virtual Reality Film Production?
Once a CG asset is tested, we can boot up our system in under ten minutes, and we can load multiple scenes. Again, there's a team of two people: one person is responsible for the software and taking direction from the director, while the other person makes sure that all of the hardware is connected and functioning properly.

What kind of post-production work and costs do Virtual Set backgrounds add?
People always say, "Okay, I love these inexpensive royalty-free assets, and now I understand how to shoot it and why it's better for the planet and shooting in a pandemic. But what are the hidden costs in the end, and what's the post-production process?" Here’s the answer: Cleaning up the matte and compositing is hardly much of a special effect these days, since it’s being done most of the time. So the only added step is the rendering of the CG background.

We work with a low-res FBX file, so it's malleable, quick, and easy. Once you have your offline edit locked, you take your CG file, you take the jump drive that we provide with the Move Metadata, and you render out that scene at the resolution you need, depending on your deliverable. That's the only additional step in working with Virtual Sets.

How do you match live-action to realistic Virtual Sets?
We advise you to make sure you're happy with your CG environment's lighting, then to recreate that mood and feeling in your live-action. That's often done by doing a still render of your CG environment in the lighting style you want, then having the DP on your live-action set match the render.

Imagine how much simpler it is than shooting with a green screen without a Virtual Set and just guessing how your live-action image will relate to the set! Seeing a live composite facilitates composition and lighting for a photorealistic match between your Virtual Set and live-action elements. And that's where the artistry and fun come in because you can get much closer to matching your environment.

What's the difference between working with green screens and Virtual Sets?
Green screen, or chroma keying, is a technique that enables you to separate your subject matter from a background, cutting that person or object out to place them in another environment. Chromatic keying means taking a color that's absent in the live-action—typically green—and eliminating it from your raw footage electronically. The actors or objects are then isolated and, if desired, they can be placed into a Virtual Set.

Virtual Sets, on the other hand, are a sophisticated, pre-visualization technology. They incorporate green screen or chroma keying to cut and paste your subject into a 3D environment, allowing for camera movement. In the green screen model, it's a locked-off camera, and you'd be rendering one frame: the background. But if you're following someone down the CG corridor, you'll render out multiple frames to match whatever the camera is doing throughout the scene. Virtual Sets enable this kind of live-action to appear in a Virtual world while the camera is moving.

How do Virtual Sets make productions more flexible?
Your set doesn't even need to be finished to begin shooting. All you need to do is build enough of the set so that your director knows where the doors and windows will be, so the Director of Photography can plan the lighting. Everything else can happen afterward. The pressure to build something ahead of the shoot doesn't exist, so if a better idea comes up, you're wedded only to the practical props you've selected.

Not being locked into anything gives creators maximum flexibility to make adjustments at any point until the picture is locked. Working in commercials, it’s a massive benefit because everything hinges on client approvals, and changes of heart are standard.

What do Virtual Sets mean for traditional set design?
Set designers have always modernized their craft—there was a time when all set designers drafted and drew their sets by hand. For years now, those beautiful handmade set drawings have been replaced with designs created with 3D software. Just about every set designer we know works in LightWave, SketchUp, or some other 3D software. They can visualize the set from different angles, communicate their ideas, and even do rough camera moves to show what the camera would see if it were moving through the set.

Virtual Sets are a game-changer, but they're also an incremental improvement on the way things were already evolving. In a few years, practical sets will be rare, and set creation will happen in a comfy chair. We've been doing this for more than a decade, so it's not a huge leap. There are enough specialists out there that it's easy to find the support you need to build 3D Virtual Sets.


Virtual Production: What Producers Need to Know

As budgets get tighter, practical sets get smaller and less-detailed. With Virtual Sets, it’s not hard to build stunningly-realistic, highly-detailed environments without significant added costs. As the East Coast’s first Virtual Backlot, we’ve spent years mastering the methodology. With new Virtual Set options making news, we’re sharing some insights on the state of the art, today, and strategies to make it work for you.

Are Next-Gen LED Virtual Sets Ready to Roll?
There’s some cool emerging technology, such as Virtual Set Unreal Engine solutions, that promise a lot—but do they deliver...? We never miss an opportunity to talk shop with our VFX colleagues out in Hollywood. As the East Coast’s early-adopter VSet soundstage, we’ve been interested in the new technology that’s being used on big-budget productions like “The Mandalorian.” This cutting-edge LED Video Wall technology uses Epic’s Unreal game engine to generate elaborate digital backdrops in real-time.

Fascinating technology, but we’re waiting to buy-in. Here’s why:
The Video Wall technology that’s powered by Unreal is made for Hollywood where budgets are gigantic. Their pipeline requires all Virtual elements to be finished and approved in advance of or during a shoot. In commercials, the CG is never completed ahead of shoot. There's always a lengthy client approval process, and it takes time to get everyone onboard. To take advantage of the real-time interactivity that the new technology offers, you need a team of five or six operators working on set in real-time to operate the CG projection, to track cameras, and to color-correct, live. This team of onsite technicians takes up production time and space, and the cost quickly adds up. Not to mention Covid... eek.

What seems like a creative utopia in Hollywood is risky and cost-prohibitive for most productions.
First of all, when you do it live, the construction of a CG set takes up valuable production time while your cast and crew waits. Fiddling with CG, tweaking color correction to match CG to live action, and other processes can easily be handled in post. Again, it's not an efficient use of production time outside of big-budget Hollywood projects.

The technicians who specialize in this work are rare, and they work in a posthouse—a dark, quiet room stocked with snacks. The real-time nature of the LED wall technology puts them under intense pressure, similar to working a live event. Their skill sets and personalities led them to post-production work (for a reason), so even productions that can find and afford such an expensive team are taking a significant risk. If any technician in the group can’t handle this new high-stakes, real-time way of working, the whole project crashes, live...

To keep budgets and social distancing in check, we’re sticking with the tried and true tech for now. We generate rough composites in our Virtual Backlot and let the tech maestros do what they do best, behind the scenes.

Today’s LED Walls come with extreme technical limitations.
The other reason we’re waiting for the next iteration of LED Wall-based Virtual Sets is that the makers are still working out the kinks. When the technology works, it’s spectacular, but synchronizing a wall of LEDs is no small feat. Technical difficulties persist—such as unwanted moiré patterns and poor off-axis response.

Another issue is that the LED screens don't support off-speed cinematography. Shooting a wall of monitors limits creativity because the monitor’s refresh rate needs to sync with the camera's frame rate. With the LED screen limited to a frame rate of 30 or 60 frames per second, you also can't shoot high speed for slow motion. And even though 60 frames per second is technically supported, the sensor still receives half the light, making the image noticeably dimmer.

We love this new technology, but it’s not yet ready for practical implementation outside of gigantic Hollywood budgets. We’re sticking with efficient, affordable solutions, and we will keep you posted on new developments as we revolutionize the Industry.

 


New Jersey leads the nation in safe shoots

and Hoboken is closer to midtown than Brooklyn.

If you haven't shot in NJ lately,
there’s a lot to catch up on.

Let’s talk.


Watch this.

A Powerful Vision for Virtual Sets in 2021.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0qsxOwxjL4

Watch this compelling side-by-side comparison of in-studio and finished Virtual Set footage.

Virtual Productions are Mainstream
These days, Virtual Sets are everywhere from “The Mandalorian” to the local TV news. Emmy award-winning producer and virtual visionary, Richard Janes, told the Chicago Tribune, “The future was definitely moving this way anyway... but with the streaming wars and COVID happening at the same time, everything has been fast-tracked.” We agree.

The Future of Production
“I think going forward (it’s) going to be less about the actual location and more about if soundstages and experienced crew are available,” Janes said. We agree again. Fortunately, at Cobalt, we’ve got a leg up! As the first to offer this Virtual Production technology to the public on the East Coast, we’re experts in the technology, and we can help you bring your vision to life—safely and convincingly.

 


New Jersey leads the nation in safe shoots

and Hoboken is closer to midtown than Brooklyn.

If you haven't shot in NJ lately,
there’s a lot to catch up on.

Let’s talk.


The Original Turnkey Soundstage

We're Built to Support Safe Shoot Productions

Image from a recent shoot at Cobalt
 

As a by-producers, for-producers soundstage, we streamline the client experience, and deliver uncompromising value by being Turnkey. We're happy to see the rest of the world catching up!

Turnkey is Trending
To serve productions better in a pandemic, soundstages are trying to retrofit themselves to deliver turnkey options. They're absolutely right to do so! Turnkey since 1994, we have all the tools and amenities you need on our premises, sanitized, and ready to roll. Everyone should be on board with that!

We Were Born This Way
Our Turnkey soundstage boasts the East Coast's most comprehensive on-site inventory of production tools and technology, and its very first Virtual Backlot. We've invested in World-Class Livestreaming equipment, Virtual Sets, Robotics for Remote Camerawork, high-end lenses, lights, and rigging tools. All that to say, we're always ready to support your Safe Shoot needs. We also include basics like: tables and chairs and extras like our emergency expendables, woodshop, and Home Ec Kitchen (to name a few). Turnkey has always been our model, so we've got it all figured out 😀

There's incredible value in being prepared with Turnkey tools—especially during last-minute crunches. Let's talk about your project, and how we can help make it seamless!

 


New Jersey leads the nation in safe shoots

and Hoboken is closer to midtown than Brooklyn.

If you haven't shot in NJ lately,
there’s a lot to catch up on.

Let’s talk.


Case Study: Using Our Two Locations in Tandem for a Pop Star's Global Livestream

Challenge
This past December, a Cobalt client needed to host a Global Livestream with the pop star Jessie J. The problem? Time zones. While other soundstages might have been able to host the project's gigantic LED wall, few have our advanced Livestream capabilities. And none that we've ever heard of has our secret weapon: a fully-furnished production pied-à-terre that's just a three-block stroll away from the action!
Hobo House 💥

Solution
The client took advantage of our "shoot here, stay here" offering putting up their pod of crew members at the Hoboken House. With Jessie J tuning in from LA, the crew set up a 9' x 16' wall of LED monitors to broadcast to grateful fans all around the world! The LED wall—similar to the ones we created for IBM and others—is just one of the many options our clients have for pandemic-smart projects.

Impact
With crew safely ensconced three blocks away at Hobo House, crew members could get some rest nearby while reporting for duty in shifts through the night for fans on the other side of the country—and the world! Jessie J's performance was recorded for posterity, and the crew was able to function brilliantly on a tough schedule. Got a tricky logistical or technical problem to solve?
Let's talk!

 


New Jersey leads the nation in safe shoots

and Hoboken is closer to midtown than Brooklyn.

If you haven't shot in NJ lately,
there’s a lot to catch up on.

Let’s talk.


Level Up Your Production in 2021

Here are 21 Ways Cobalt Can Help

1. Reimagine Your Soundstage
You CAN expect more from a soundstage! In a world of empty warehouse-type spaces, we strive to offer more—comprehensive tools, thoughtful amenities, a supportive team, and lots of room to spread out for Safe Shoots.

2. Lead the Way in Safe Shoots
We’re set apart from other stages so that you can have us all to yourself! Our uncrowded environment, our private spaces, our advanced Safe Shoot protocols, and our New Jersey location means you can focus on creating great work.

3. Get it all Onsite
Cobalt’s inventory of in-house production tools is curated and updated by seasoned professionals. We offer lighting, rigging, high-end lenses, precision robotics, world-class Livestreaming, Virtual Sets, and more!

4. Experience Turnkey
Why spend your budget on lights, rigging tools, and folding chairs when you can get everything you need, and more, right along with your stage? Cobalt saves you time and money by offering more of your production needs, a table d'hôte (the opposite of a la carte).

5. Get Comfortable
Over the past year, we’ve made our generous breakout spaces even more welcoming and convenient! Our versatile client and production rooms are ideal for undisturbed work, private meetings, social distancing, and more.

6. Make Magic With Us
Arthur Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” We have the tools and technology to make the magic, and we have the technical experts on hand to help you make the most of it.

7. Go Clean and Green
We’re committed to considering our impact on the environment. We do our part by investing in sustainable technologies like Virtual Sets, making our own green cleaning products, and clearing the air with an Ozone machines between shoots.

8. Support Woman-Owned
It’s rare to find a woman-owned soundstage, but we’re paving the way! Please join us in advancing gender equality in the Industry by supporting even more women-owned and led businesses and projects in 2021.

9. Shoot, Stay, & Work Here
The Hoboken House is the perfect place to park your production! Our chic, sun-drenched 2000 square foot Carriage House has three bedrooms and three full bathrooms—and it’s three blocks from our soundstage.

10. Take Advantage of Virtual Sets
With the East Coast's first Virtual Set offering, you can set scenes in any location you can imagine with all the control of a soundstage. PLUS using our Virtual Backlot reduces waste and the cost of crew hours. A win for your budget and the planet!

11. Enjoy Stress-Free Livestreaming
Our facility is hardwired with reliable 850 MB per second bandwidth! Collaborate with people anywhere, and reduce the number of people on set with our world-class Livestreaming setup AND our helpful experts.

12. Work With Production Advisors
We’re a by-producers, for-producers soundstage specializing in cutting-edge technology. Call us anytime for innovative and practical solutions to save your production time, money, and stress. We take the time to listen!

13. Make Friends With Robots
Cobalt’s Alex Fernbach is credited with inventing the first array camera used in the “Bullet Time” scene for “The Matrix.” These days, our tech guru and Moco Master, Alex, helps productions reduce crew sizes with Remote Camerawork and creative solutions!

14. Head West (of the Hudson, that is ;)
Here at “Hollywood on the Hudson,” we’re open and safe! Located just 15 minutes West of Midtown, Hoboken’s laid-back college town vibe is perfect for taking a breather from big city crowds and traffic.

15. Save Money in NJ
New Jersey’s Film & TV Tax Credit includes up to 35% percent of ABOVE AND BELOW the line on qualified expenses for productions in New Jersey while New York’s tax credit pertains to only below the line expenses.

16. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
At Cobalt, random last-minute needs won’t put your production on pause. Our inventory of “emergency expendables” is legendary. We even improvised a robotic “laser beam” on the spot for Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix special!

17. Spread Out & Stay Connected
Superior connectivity makes it effortless for you to multitask and monitor the production. At Cobalt, a live HD feed broadcasts from our soundstage to the client room, conference rooms, commercial prep kitchen, wardrobe, and makeup areas.

18. Get Creative
No two productions are the same, so our spaces are built to be ultra-flexible. We’re hosting Livestream, after complex Livestream, with productions making creative use of our two locations and copious breakout spaces!

19. Trust us for Tabletop
Produce and distribute content at the speed of change! Our highly-controlled Tabletop setup is second to none for cinematography and photography, and our Home Ec kitchen is fully-equipped and easy-to-reconfigure.

20. Use More, Pay Less
At some soundstages, your itemized bill looks like you went on a Whole Foods bender. We deliver the best value by offering generous free amenities and a comprehensive inventory of onsite production tools.

21. Make Us Your Secret Weapon
At Cobalt, we’re as passionate about production excellence as you are! We invite you to leverage our expertise and equipment, just like an extension of your team. We’d love to hear about your next production, and how we can help.

Ready to Level Up?
It’s 2021. It’s time. Let’s talk.


We’re Open & Safe

Safe shoots are happening here in Hoboken!

As this eventful year rolls to a close, we’re still doin' it 💥 Thank you all for keeping the Industry alive in this challenging time—we’re honored to support you safely through it. Here are some of the ways you can lean on us.

Shoot in Hoboken
Locked down in NYC? It’s okay - we gotcha. We’re 15 minutes from Midtown with a small-town relaxed vibe and lots of space to spread out.

Leverage The Hoboken House
Our furnished Carriage House is three blocks from our soundstage. Work, shoot, or stay here—OR even use it for offsite wellness screenings. That's what they do.

Benefit from our Safe Shoot Protocols
We thoroughly clean and disinfect everything, and then, run an industrial capacity ozone generator between shoots at no extra cost.

Access Turnkey Tools & Technology
Use our onsite Virtual Backlot, Motion Control Robotics, Livestreaming, Video Village, Lighting, Grip, Distro, camera gear and more.

Use our Breakout Spaces
Fully-networked rooms like our Production Suite, Conference Room, Client Room and Meditation Room to help maximize productivity.

Consult our Virtual Set Experts
As the East Coast's first soundstage to offer Virtual Sets to the public, our team has the in-depth experience to guide you.


New Jersey leads the nation in safe shoots

and Hoboken is closer to midtown than Brooklyn.

If you haven't shot in NJ lately,
there’s a lot to catch up on.

Let’s talk.


Virtual Set is the Next Normal.

Productions like The Mandalorian are changing the game for how episodics are being created.

The Mandalorian’s interplanetary odyssey is shot on a soundstage using Virtual Set technology.

We can all see that digital transformation isn’t slowing down. To ensure that our Industry keeps pace, everyone needs to make friends with modern digital tools like Virtual Sets. Fortunately, for the East Coast, Cobalt's got it.

Digital Transformation for productions.
Think of the transition from film to video—we couldn’t imagine handy cams taking over, but here we are. We’re great believers in the tried-and-true, BUT there does come a time when NOT innovating becomes the bigger risk than sticking with what you know...

Science in the Service of Art.
With location travel largely off-limits, productions are seeing the silver lining: with our incredible virtual technology, your production can take place anywhere in the universe—past, present, or future. Virtual Sets practically eliminate set costs; they’re environmentally-friendly; and they’ve been around since 1994. So, for early adopters like us, they’re already tried and true. Virtual Sets are already “normal” for audiences. From “Black Panther” to “The Mandalorian”, anywhere you’re seeing imaginative, incredible backgrounds, you’re seeing Virtual Sets in action. And the Fact that you haven’t actually “seen” them PROVES how seamless and photorealistic they are. Virtual Set is everywhere, and you don’t even realize it... That’s the whole point ;)

Experience practical, creative solutions.
If you haven’t yet, now is the time to request a Demo of our Virtual Backlot— the 1st available to the public on the East Coast. While most experts in the field hold their technical expertise close to the vest, we share it openly. Let us show you what’s possible, and answer all your questions. Invest an hour of your time; get up to speed; and walk away with a whole new production toolkit in your repertoire.


New Jersey leads the nation in safe shoots

and Hoboken is closer to midtown than Brooklyn.

If you haven't shot in NJ lately,
there’s a lot to catch up on.

Let’s talk.


Space to Spread Out

How Productions are Shooting Safely at Cobalt

Spreading out has never been more essential. Here’s what we offer in NJ and how Tri-State productions make the most of it at Cobalt.

Our Standalone Facility
Our highly-controlled boutique space hosts one production at a time, so YOU HAVE THE PLACE ALL TO YOURSELVES - No other productions germs, eek! It’s easy to social distance in our 12,000 square-foot facility with our 20-foot ceilings. And thankfully, Hoboken lends its small-town vibe to help productions feel safe ‘n sound and in control.

What we’re NOT:

An aggregation of many stages with lots of people from different productions in attendance.

Copious Breakout Spaces
Our 7,000 square-foot soundstage is supported by generous, networked breakout spaces that make it easy to social distance, have a private conversation, or just take a breather. Our pandemic-smart clients are using our garage more than ever—mostly as a catering space. Our Production Suite offers a private bathroom with a laundry machine that helps VIPs like Jerry Seinfeld make themselves at home. We also offer a Conference Room, Client Room, Home Ec Kitchen, and Meditation Room. Our Hair and Makeup Balcony has its own entry and stage access which is excellent for staying on top of things while safely getting in character.

What we’re NOT:

One big warehouse that you have to parcel out.

Hoboken and The Hoboken House
Located fifteen minutes from Midtown, our Hoboken town feels a world away from big city traffic and crowds. We also offer Hobo House, a separate 2,000 square foot Carriage House— three blocks from our soundstage where you can shoot, stay, and work. Clients have always made great use of its private courtyard, secure breezeway, and private patio by using these additional spaces for shipping and receiving, food tents, and a talent holding space. Now productions are using it as a clever "health screening stop" where people can drop in, be screened, and make their way over to our Main Stage three blocks away.

What we’re NOT:

Just a soundstage.


New Jersey leads the nation in safe shoots

and Hoboken is closer to midtown than Brooklyn.

If you haven't shot in NJ lately,
there’s a lot to catch up on.

Let’s talk.


Filming in Hoboken: Safe Shoots with a Small Town Vibe

Aaron Sorkin Filming in Hoboken

Chill Out in "The Mile Square City"

Just fifteen minutes from Midtown, Hoboken's college town vibe feels a world away from big city traffic and crowds. We love coming to work in this laid-back village atmosphere, but our Hoboken home base is also prime real estate for productivity! Getting here is easy. Our Turnkey equipment inventory is second to none for convenience. And NJ's spacious and well-stocked prop shops, grip houses, and suppliers have big old American parking lots for easy drive-up access.

Shoot, Stay and Work at The Hoboken House
The Hoboken House is our sun-drenched 2000 square foot Carriage House, three blocks from our soundstage. This ultra-flexible furnished space has three bedrooms, three full baths, and a modern, Euro-style chef's kitchen. Hobo House's off-the-street private location is protected from the sights and sounds of street traffic by its insulated courtyard, and its secure breezeway enables worry-free shipping and receiving. Clients often set up the private patio as a food tent or talent holding space, too.

The Cobalt Experience
Repeat clients like HBO and Netflix have shared that their VIP’s ask for Cobalt because of our exclusive, social-distance-friendly VIP suite. Throughout our facilities, you'll find flexible, wired workspaces to enhance your team's efficiency, safety, and yes—happiness. And in addition to Video Village, World-Class Livestreaming, Motion Control Robotics, and the East Coast's first Virtual Backlot, you'll find extras like our Spa Trolley, Meditation Room, and cozy furnishings to help you feel good and stay focused.


New Jersey leads the nation in safe shoots

and Hoboken is closer to midtown than Brooklyn.

If you haven't shot in NJ lately,
there’s a lot to catch up on.

Let’s talk.