We feel Love <3

Dear Friends 💕

Thank you for being a part of our labor of love, and letting us be a part of yours!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Team Cobalt

Be Our Valentine!

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

New York State Film Tax Credit Program (Post-Production)

New York State Film Tax Credit Program (Post-Production)

The New York State Film Tax Credit program and Post-Production program offers the entertainment industry one of the country’s most stable, strategic, and successful tax credits. Of the $700 million available in the program, $45 million every year has been allotted to expenses for post-production costs.
The Film Tax Credit program is divided into two distinct programs:

  1. the Film Production Credit
  2. the Post-Production Credit

While the production credit is available for businesses that film a substantial portion of their project in New York State, the post-production credit is available even if the majority of the project was filmed outside of the state. 

Creators are also encouraged to apply if they were ineligible for the production tax credit program. This happens when the production company contracts their post-production work to NYS post-production companies.

Here we take a quick look at the New York Post-Production Film Tax Credit program including a brief overview, eligibility, and how to apply.

Objective and Overview

The main goal of the Post-Production Tax Credit program is to strengthen the post-production industry in New York State, and boost the positive impact it has on the economy.

Who Can Apply?

The Film Tax Credit program provides incentives to qualified production companies that produce:

  • Feature films
  • Television series
  • Relocated television series
  • Television pilots
  • Television movies
  • and/or incur post-production costs associated with the original creation of these film productions

Program Highlights

To encourage companies to develop their film projects in New York and to help create and maintain jobs, productions that comply with program requirements may be eligible for:

  • A fully refundable tax credit of 30% of qualified post-production expenses. This Post-Production tax credit program is funded at $45 million a year through 2034.
  • An additional 5% credit is available with the Post-Production program for costs incurred in Upstate NY, outside the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD).
  • Projects with budgets over $500,000 can receive an additional 10% credit on qualified labor expenses incurred in the following counties:

Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, or Yates.

Click here for specific tax credits for Ulster County.

Eligibility

rat, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;”> New York Post-Production program is limited to the post-production of feature films, television series, relocated television series, television pilots, and films for television.

The post-production credit is available when the project was filmed predominantly outside of New York State, and the film production company contracts their post-production work to companies in NYS specializing in post-production work.

Post-Production Credit

Post-production costs (associated with the production of original content for a qualified film) incurred at a qualified post-production facility in New York State are eligible.

What is a qualified post-production facility?

qualified post-production facility is any company located in NYS and engaged in providing post-production services to film and television.

A film production company can qualify for the post-production credit if it meets either one or both of the following thresholds:

#1) Visual Effects and Animation

The qualified VFX/Animation costs incurred at a qualified post-production facility in NYS must EITHER meet or exceed:

– 20% of the total VFX/Animation costs paid;

– OR incurred for VFX/Animation for the qualified film at any post-production facility anywhere;

– OR $3 million Post-Production.

The qualified post-production costs incurred at qualified facilities in NYS (excluding cost for VFX/Animation) must meet or exceed 75% of the total qualified post-production costs paid or incurred in the post-production of the film at any post-production facilities.

#2) Fully Animated Production/Post-Production

A company engaged in the production of a fully animated film is eligible for the Post-Production Credit if the qualified production and post-production costs meet the VFX/Animation threshold of 20%; expenses in the Producer, Director, and Deliverable Elements categories are also qualified if they meet the Post-Production 75% threshold.

Ready to Apply?

Application Process

Applicants complete and submit the Project Summary Form online.

All other documents that comprise a complete application are submitted through the secure file transfer system. It is highly recommended that applications be submitted at least 10 business days prior to the start of principal photography.

When submitting an application for the Post-Production Credit, all materials must be submitted in order for the application to be considered complete.

Post-Production Credit

Complete initial and final application forms are either online or downloadable.

The Post-Production Credit application must be filed prior to incurring any qualified costs in New York State. Thus, it is recommended (but not required) that the initial application be submitted prior to the start of principal photography on the qualified film (or tv pilot/series).

Upon completion of post-production, a final application must be submitted with actual project information. When the final application is deemed complete, the program Office will notify an applicant that the application is ready for audit.

After the audit, a Certificate of Tax Credit may be issued and sent to the applicant listed in the final application.

  • Post-Production – Initial Application Template Book – The Post-Production Credit Initial Application Template file contains the following templates for submission via the online application:
    • Budget Cost Qualifier (Live Action and Animation)
    • Schedule of Qualified Expenditures (Live Action and Animation)
  • Project Summary – Post-Production Credit – Final Application (Online Application Form)
  • Post-Production – Final Application Template Book – The Post-Production Credit Final Application Template file contains the following templates for submission via the online application:
    • Budget Cost Qualifier Summary Page (Live Action and Animation)
    • Budget Cost Qualifier Detail Page (Live Action and Animation)
    • Schedule of Qualified Expenditures (Live Action and Animation)
    • Employment Report
    • Retained Assets Report
    • Related Party Transaction Report

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more details or if you have specific questions, please contact the Film Tax Credit program at (212) 803-2328 or via email at filmcredits@esd.ny.gov.

All New York State Tax Incentives

New York State has a variety of film tax programs to incentivize the film and television industry in the form of tax credits, sales tax exemptions and grants to support workforce diversity, training and job creation.

Summing it Up

 

Filming your movie in Upstate New York comes with the added benefit of the state’s robust film production tax credit program. New York offers filmmakers a competitive incentive package for post-production credits which include:

 

  • A fully refundable tax credit of 30% of qualified post-production expenses.
  • An additional 5% credit may be available in the Post-Production program for costs incurred in Upstate NY.
  • An additional 10% credit on qualified labor expenses.


These post-production tax credits will significantly alleviate production costs making Upstate New York an economically attractive choice for filmmakers. 


New York’s commitment to supporting the film industry extends far beyond financial incentives helping to foster a thriving, creative community that offers valuable resources for filmmakers. 


Choosing Woodstock as your prime location not only provides a visually captivating backdrop, but presents a strategic financial advantage that ensures a compelling and cost-effective production experience.


Ready to get started? 


Come visit Cobalt Woodstock.

Let’s 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

What is the New York State Film Tax Credit Program?

What is the New York State Film Tax Credit Program?

Did you know filming in New York has incredible tax benefits? The Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV) offers film, television, and commercial production and post-production tax credits for qualified expenditures in New York State.

This $700 million film incentive program is one of the best in the nation!

However, where you film in the state can mean the difference between saving 25% or 45% in film tax credits. For a larger production, this could be huge.

Ulster County-based production and post-production efforts benefit from the highest level of NY film tax credits available in NYS and the country, at large.

Here we take a quick look at the New York State Film Tax Credit Program, including the type of credits available, eligibility, and the latest changes in regulation.

The Purpose Behind the Program

The initial purpose behind the New York State Film Tax Credit Program is that it was designed to increase the film production and post-production industry presence and overall positive impact on the state’s economy.

What does it do?

The Film Tax Credit Program provides incentives to qualified production companies that produce:

  • Feature films

  • Television series

  • Relocated television series

  • Television pilots

  • Television movies

  • and/or incur post-production costs associated with the original creation of these film productions.

The Film Tax Credit Program is divided into two distinct programs:

Program #1: The Film Production Credit

Program #2: The Post-Production Credit

The first program is outlined in detail below, and you’ll find the post-production program on the next blog.

Why New York State?

New York State has a dynamic and diverse film and television production presence, worldwide, boasting a strong infrastructure and robust economy. It’s one of the top states with film credits and offers some of the highest percentages for film tax relief.

Upstate New York

Upstate New York really has it all. It offers unique features and services to accommodate any number of film projects, including varied terrain, period and futuristic settings, urban and small-town backgrounds, local crew and warehouses, plenty of office space, and a local government that supports and encourages filming.

And if you can’t find your typical location, Upstate New York houses the new Cobalt Stages facility just outside the historic town of Woodstock. Cobalt Woodstock has brought its EFX and Virtual Production to the already vibrant Hudson Valley Film scene.

Upstate New York boasts four distinct seasons, allowing you to capture the changing beauty of nature throughout the year. Additionally, New York tax credits can significantly reduce production costs and make your project more economically viable. 

The welcoming and supportive local communities further contribute to the practical advantages of choosing Upstate New York as your filming location and production hub. The region not only offers a visually compelling setting, but practical incentives help to level up your production.

Amount of Credit Available

Program credits of $700 million per year are allocated and used to encourage companies to film projects in New York, and create and maintain film industry jobs. 

Film Production Credit applicants are eligible to receive a fully refundable, baseline credit of 30% of qualified production costs incurred in New York State (NYS). You are eligible to receive an extra 10% off for production in Upstate NY. Then, Upstate even offers an extra extra 5% on post. This all relates to outside the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD). 

This brings the entire possible New York state tax credit to a total of 40% savings for production and 45% for post-production in Upstate territories.

Please note, that there are no per-project caps for credits, and there is a rollover in the annual $700 million allocation going forward until 2034

Eligible Counties for an Additional Credit

In addition to the 30% NYS film tax credit, from 2015-2034, any production with a budget over $500,000 can receive an additional 10% credit on qualified labor expenses incurred in the following counties:

Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, or Yates.

Click here for specific tax credits for Ulster County.

Eligibility Criteria

The Film Tax Credit Program is limited to film production companies producing feature films, television series, relocated television series, television pilots, and television movies. Television series and relocated television series must submit separate applications for each complete season to be eligible for New York tax credits.

The production credit is available for companies that film a substantial portion of their project in NYS.

Eligibility requirements vary based on the type of company and the budget.

  • Level 2: If the film has a production budget over $15 million and/or is being produced by a publicly traded entity; at least 10% of the total principal photography shooting days must be at a qualified production facility (QPF) in NYS on a set built expressly for the production. This can also include virtual production.
  • Level 1: Productions with budgets of $15 million or less produced by companies that are independently owned must shoot at least one full day of principal photography at a QPF on a set built expressly for the production.

For the purposes of this program, a full day means a minimum of eight hours from the first unit crew call to wrap.

Principal photography is defined by criteria including, but not limited to, the presence of first unit crew, director, and principal performers, and the recording of scenes in which lines of dialogue are spoken.

Re-shoot days with actors, directors, and crew are considered principal photography. Second-unit shoots and pickup shots without director and actor(s) are not considered principal photography.

Excluded Categories

Documentaries, news or current affairs programs, interview or talk shows, variety talk, variety sketch and variety entertainment shows, instructional videos, sports shows or events, daytime soap operas, reality programs, commercials, and music videos.

Latest Changes to the Tax Credit Program

Some of the latest changes to the tax program (as of 2023) that you may need to be aware of include:

  • The base tax credit rate has increased to 30%.
  • Effective April 1, 2023, those applicants with a tax credit allocation year of 2024 and thereafter may file a return for the first taxable year in the allocation year cited on the New York tax credit certificate.
  • Annual allocation has increased to $700 million, of which $45 million is allocated to the Post Production Tax Credit Program. Allocation for the program continues through 2034.
  • These Above-The-Line (ATL) salaries are qualified for the tax credit:
    • Director
    • Writers
    • Actors
    • Composers
    • 2 Producers (one EP responsible for overall creative management, and one LP responsible for overall production management).
  • ATL salaries identified are subject to a $500,000 cap per individual and limited to 40% of all other qualified production costs.
  • A Relocating Talk/Variety series must be in production outside NYS for two years only (reduced from 5 years).
  • Relocating Television series (narrative dramatic or comedy series) must have been in production outside NYS for a minimum of six episodes with a per-episode budget of $1 million minimum.
  • For network/cable, the length requirement is at least 30 minutes with commercials; for streaming media, the length must be at least 75 minutes for the total number of episodes in the season.
  • Production costs of up to $6 million for relocation (excluding salaries) are eligible for the NY film tax credit for the first season in NYS.
  • Effective January 1, 2023, applicants to the NY State Film Production tax credit program are required to file a diversity plan outlining specific goals and strategies for hiring a diverse workforce.

Ready to Apply?

Application Process

Applicants complete and submit the Project Summary Form online.

All other documents that comprise a complete application are submitted through the secure file transfer system. It is highly recommended that applications be submitted at least 10 business days prior to the start of principal photography.

When submitting an application for Film Production Credit, all materials must be submitted in order for the application to be deemed complete.

For the Film Production Credit, applications must be submitted prior to the start of principal and ongoing photography.

Summing it Up

Filming your movie in Upstate New York comes with the added benefit of the state’s robust film production tax credit program. New York offers filmmakers a competitive incentive package, which includes:

  • A 30% tax credit on qualified production expenditures
  • An additional 10% credit for qualified productions in certain upstate counties
  • A 45% credit for post-production work

These film production tax credits can significantly alleviate production costs, making Upstate New York an economically attractive
choice for filmmakers.

New York’s commitment to supporting the film industry extends beyond financial incentives fostering a thriving creative community that
offers valuable resources for filmmakers.

Choosing Woodstock as your prime location not only provides a visually captivating backdrop, but presents a strategic financial advantage
that ensures a compelling and cost-effective production experience.

Ready to get started?
Let’s talk

Come visit Cobalt Woodstock.

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

Level Up Your Production in 2024

Level Up Your Production in 2024

Here are 24 Ways Cobalt Can Help

1. We’re Innovative.

Our credo is Production Reimagined. In a world of drafty, blank spaces, we strive to offer more— comprehensive tools, thoughtful amenities, and a supportive team. Our clients feel the difference, right away.

2. We’re Turnkey.

Why spend your precious time sourcing lights, rigging tools, and folding chairs? At Cobalt you don’t need to. We save you time and money by offering all your production essentials onsite.

3. We’re Virtual Set Virtuosos.

We set up the East Coast’s first Virtual Backlot to help you save money, reduce waste, minimize the cost of crew hours, and place your story in any location you can imagine. A huge win for productions and the planet!

4. We’re Woman Owned.

Cobalt is a woman-owned soundstage. We strongly believe in working toward gender equality in the Industry. Please join us in supporting even more women-owned businesses and women-led projects in 2024!

5. We’re a Green Facility.

We’re committed to considering the impact of our actions on people and the environment. We also do our part by donating leftover food, investing in sustainable Virtual Sets, and making our own non-toxic, chemical free cleaning products and Kara Care skincare swag (more to come soon).

6. We’re Magic Makers.

Arthur Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”… We have the tech to make the magic, and Cobalt’s tech wizard, Alex, can help you make the most of it.

7. We Care About Peace ~ Quiet and Comfort.

Because of our Industry background, we understand how a thoughtfully curated soundstage can put clients at ease – and even help them relax – to elevate the quality of your work. Our well-appointed client spaces make it comfortable to hold a meeting or simply ‘peace out’ for a sec. And we’ve even expanded to the country with Cobalt Woodstock ✌️.

8. We’re By Producers, For Producers.

We leverage our Industry experience to make everything you need easily accessible, so you can focus on what matters– doing your best work. We’re committed to creating the most comfortable, convenient, cutting-edge, and cost effective experience.

9. We’re Production Advisors.

Helping producers problem-solve their projects is one of our specialties. We believe in taking the time to listen, and we’re quick to offer innovative and practical solutions to save your production time, money, and stress.

10. We’re MoCo Masters.

Our clients have convenient access to our comprehensive inventory of Motion Control equipment—the largest and most diverse on the East Coast. Our Gazelle Motion Control camera crane also goes on the road–anywhere your production does.

11. We’ve Got the Matrix Man.

Cobalt’s very own Alex Fernbach designed and invented the 1st array camera used in the legendary “Bullet Time” scene in “The Matrix.” These days, he brings his unparalleled knowledge and creativity to Cobalt to support YOUR productions.

12. We’re in the Heart of New York’s Artistic Enclave.

Cobalt Woodstock is centrally located smack in the middle of one of New York’s original centers of Art. Your production, talent, and crew will have access to stylish BnB’s, outstanding food, and a community of artisans, all while saving a bundle on parking, lodging, and meal cost.

13. We’ve Got ALL the Tax Breaks.

Because we’re in upstate New York, your production will get up to 40 percent of ABOVE AND BELOW the line on qualified expenses. No need to read between the lines here.

14. We’re Wired.

Superior connectivity makes it effortless to multitask and monitor your production. At Cobalt, a live HD feed broadcasts from our soundstage to the client room, conference room, commercial food prep kitchen, wardrobe, and makeup areas.

15. We’re Streaming Live.

Our Live Streaming capability allows decision-makers to keep a tab open on their computer, even remotely, with continuous HD quality footage delivered in real-time. Clients can tune in and weigh in, so the whole production isn’t waiting around to get the thumbs-up 😉

16. We Don’t Nickel and Dime You.

At some soundstages, your itemized bill can look like you went on a Whole Foods bender. At Cobalt, there’s no need to rent or carry in basic amenities—and we won’t bill you for them either.

17. We’re the Swiss Army Knife of Studios.

Cobalt’s inventory of in-house production tools is curated and updated by seasoned professionals. We offer lighting, rigging, high-end lenses, precision robotics, Virtual Set, and more!

18. We Do Tabletop.

We’re passionate about tabletop at Cobalt. It’s in our DNA. Our home ec kitchen is fully-equipped and easy-to-reconfigure for all types of food-centric projects. This, combined with a wide variety of miniature rigs, specialized optics, and in-house motion control, makes producing tabletop easy and efficient.

19. We’re on Your Team.

At Cobalt, we’re as passionate about production excellence as you are! We invite you to make us your secret weapon by leveraging our experience and resources—just like an extension of your team.

20. Get Creative.

No two productions are the same, so our spaces are built to be ultra-flexible. We’re hosting Virtual projects with clients making use of our live compositing, and Live-streaming with others! Some are even making use of our insert stage for still shoots all-the while.

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.

22. Use More, Pay Less.

We deliver the best value by offering generous free amenities and a comprehensive inventory of onsite production tools.

23. More Green (A Lot More).

Cobalt Woodstock is home to one of the largest green screens on the East Coast. This newly installed screen is 70 feet wide and 20 feet high, which means you can let your production’s imagination run wild.

24. Park to Your Heart’s Delight.

Want to drive a box truck into the soundstage? No big deal, we can handle it. Need easy and stress free parking for your whole crew? We’ve got that too. Cobalt Woodstock is all about making things easy so you can focus on the work at hand.

2024 is going to be a big year!

Let’s 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

Walking the Tightrope with George Billard

Meeting George.

We go back with Do Diligence founder, George Billard. Way back.

Kara met George when he cast her in a film called “The Eulogy”. This was just the start of what would be a long and fruitful relationship. Not long after filming “The Eulogy”, they were working together again on “They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief”, which premiered at the New York Times. This impactful film was a star-studded affair featuring: Victor Garber, Amanda Martin, Tony Shalhoub, Ron Rifkin, and our very own Kara Vedder taking on the role of Nellie Miller Mann.

Challenge.

George recently came to us with a new challenge. He needed to film a group of people (business men, families, construction workers) walking a tightrope across a gorge over a raging river. Yowzer! Try to do that practically LOL Shooting something like this would involve wildly expensive safety measures, stunt talent, and astronomical crew costs. However, we came up with a strategy, and consulted with George over the course of four phone calls.

Solution.

We pitched him on shooting the spot in our soundstage with our massive 70-foot green screen. George needed to go BIG, so to make his vision a reality, we expanded our already massive green screen with a 20 foot return. That’s right, we ended up shooting on a 30 foot deep, 90-foot green screen.

Team Cobalt provided George with gaffers and other technical crewing on the shoot day. He brought in a telescopic 40-foot crane to get the scope and angles he needed to bring his vision to life. No big deal! Cobalt Woodstock is “drive on”, and can accommodate cranes easily.

Check out the behind the scenes footage!

Impact.

When you work with Cobalt, you get more than a fantastic soundstage, decades of Industry experience, Virtual Production know-how, and stellar support: you get partners who stand by you for the long run. We cherish relationships like the one we have with George, and we go out of our way to make all of our clients’ visions realities. Whether strategizing intricate green screen shots, or finding the right plates and cups for a set, there’s no detail too small or too big for our team to tackle with you.

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

Happy Holidays from Cobalt!

Happy Holidays from Cobalt!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for sharing your abundant talents with us this year! United by a shared purpose and rising above every challenge, it’s been a joy and a privilege working with you. We’re deeply inspired by the community’s hard work and resilience, and we’re moved by the beauty and abundance being created.

We wish you all the peace, love, and light that this season brings.

Warmly,
Team Cobalt

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

3 Santas, an Elves' workshop, and a 12-Hour Livestream

CASE STUDY

3 Santas, an Elves’ workshop, and a 12-Hour Livestream

What Amazon did for shopping convenience, our clients were tasked to do for Mall Santas!

Challenge.

So… Cobalt client CinemaStreet came to us with a fun holiday live-streaming challenge. The production company’s whimsical concept involved staging 3 Santas and a workshop of singing elves while live-streaming with kids simultaneously for 12 hours. Our client wanted to know: Could we provide the tools, expertise, bandwidth, and breakout spaces to support this ambitious project and deliver Christmas for all these kids? Hell yeah!! Move over Jeff Bezos!

Solution.

You know us—Cobalt is MADE for solving complex technical challenges! To pull off this unique project, CinemaStreet flipped the script, using our wide-open main stage for production work. This strategy freed up our cozy support spaces to be transformed into magical realms where all the Santas and elves Livestreamed for delighted kiddos all over the country. With a dedicated technician to “direct traffic” on our server, our 850-MB/sec bandwidth successfully supported the 12-hour event. We have have two SSIDs and we’ve throttled WiFi to support the production team’s 45+ devices while segregating the hardwired Livestreams with unique passwords to restrict bandwidth and avoid any problems.

Impact.

The “12 Hours of Magic” virtual event was a smashing success with no major issues. Since we’re so much more than an empty-box soundstage, our networked conference room, production office, and client suite made it easy to shoot 4 simultaneous interactive performances while affording lots of rooms to spread out. Countless kids got to meet Santa, his elves, and Mrs. Claus in a creative new way that was surprisingly even more personal than the usual “Mall Santa” experience!

Lets talk. Ho Ho Ho

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

Cobalt does more than Virtual?!?

Wayyyyy more than Virtual…

As the first Virtual Soundstage on the East Coast, we talk about Virtual Production…a lot. We’re big fans of the technology – the creative flexibility and cost savings it affords our clients.

BUT (and this a big BUT), we’re still massive fans of doing things the traditional way. We’ve been a production company for over 25 years, but 10 years ago, we decided to open our doors to the production community to share our space and specialty equipment. Just because we’ve got a lot more fancy tech on set, now, doesn’t mean we’re not shooting practically, all the time 🙂

We love helping clients with every kind of traditional production. Whether we’re shooting practical effects for an a critical timing shot, shooting an epic feature, or using our motion control to get the absolutely perfect (and do we mean perfect) shot of guacamole for a national spot.

Here are just a few of the reasons we’re your “go-to soundstage” for all kinds of shoots!

COBALT IS A TURNKEY SOUNDSTAGE

What does that mean for you? It means you can relax and focus on the important parts of your production because the team at Cobalt has everything else under control. We’ve got all the rigging, space, camera, and sound equipment your shoot could ever need. And, since we’re focused on you and your production, if we don’t have something you that’s needed on site, we’ll get it there seamlessly before your shoot day.

PROPS, GEAR, AND MORE. WE’VE GOT IT ALL.

We’re in the stage business, and love to bring you lots of nuanced options. It’s more than just virtual… That means having all the basics too – chairs, cups, plates, tea kettles, and set dressing your production. THEN, and only then, let’s level it up with virtual, moco, and the like!

PRACTICAL TECH! WE’VE GOT THAT.

Need a repeatable zoom or dolly? Need a critically timed slo-mo shot? We can help! We’ve got motion control robotics and teams of experts to make it all happen.

DRIVE IN. DRIVE OUT.

For our friends in New York, we’ve got one word: PARKING. You heard us, PARKING. So much parking you can swing an Escalade into the lot, back it up, and then do a couple donuts. Then, do a three point turn, and you still have plenty of space! Load in and load out are so much easier in Woodstock because the soundstage is drive-on, too!

KITCHENS. WARDROBE. OFFICE SPACE. YEP.

If all that wasn’t enough… Yes, we’ve got all the goods you’d expect from a fully equipped soundstage: craft services, M/U & wardrobe space, kitchens, production offices, and conference rooms. Your crew will have everything they need to get the job done.

Ready to talk about your production?

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 is Normal.

Virtual Production is 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.

Digital Transformations 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 becoming more and more pricey, 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’re 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. The fact that you haven’t “seen” them PROVES how seamless and photorealistic they are. Virtual Set is everywhere, and you don’t even realize it!

Experience practical, creative solutions.

If you haven’t yet, now is the time to scehdule 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.

Let’s 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