Cobalt Expands!!!

We now have an ADDITIONAL FACILITY!

We’ve expanded to serve you better.
You asked, we delivered! We’re pleased to announce the launch of “THE HOBOKEN HOUSE”, our new annex at “Hollywood on the Hudson!” Cobalt’s newest property is a mere three blocks from our soundstage, making it the perfect place to park your productions! Set up shop (or shoot if you wish) in this private oasis while leveraging our nearby soundstage—a controlled environment for using our Virtual Set, Motion Control, and other onsite production tools—the absolute best of both worlds!

Make yourself at home.
“Hobo House” (as we like to call it) is a chic, sun-drenched 2000 square foot Carriage House with 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms—perfect for makeup, wardrobe, etc. Make our secure breezeway your own private shipping & receiving area; set up a food tent or talent holding in our private patio/garden; and shoot in our modern, Euro-style chef’s kitchen. The possibilities are endless.

Location is everything.
A brilliant location in its own right, Hoboken House is also conveniently close to a wealth of offsite location options! When you “set up your entity” here in New Jersey, you can shoot on location anywhere and still take advantage of the New Jersey Film and TV Tax Credit. Located 15 minutes from Midtown and a short drive to the Jersey Shore and the Catskills, you’re sure to find the right setting for every storyline nearby.

At Cobalt, we strive to do more.
In a world of warehouse-type spaces, we add in a layer of hospitality for the ultimate client experience—comfortable, convenient, and conducive to the creative endeavor. Episodics like Alex Gibney’s Showtime docu-series “Enemies” have made their “homes” at Cobalt, and with the launch of our Hoboken House property, we’re now better equipped to host longer-term productions. Kick back, relax… Yes, make yourselves truly at home… Cobalt’s NEW facility is here. Hoboken House welcomes you.

Schedule a tour today and check out our ever-expanding roster of capabilities, amenities, and facilities.


Unleash your imagination...

And save time, money and the planet by doing it!

Virtual Set is trending and it’s no surprise.
Virtual Set is an invaluable production tool offering camera tracking, keying and live compositing of computer-generated environments with live action green screen contents for a fraction of the time, cost, and environmental impact of “practical” sets. We put together this quick guide to help inspire and educate everyone who might be interested in exploring this useful and simple-to-use technology. So without further ado...

Here’s a five-part breakdown of what happens when you take advantage of Cobalt's Virtual Backlot on a project:

Phase 1: Unleash your imagination.
Practical set building usually limits creativity because your budget and real-life parameters dictate what can and can’t be done. On the contrary, with Virtual Sets you can shoot a scene in any environment you can imagine. Recently, a client came to us with a challenge… They needed to shoot an actor in a massive, spotlessly-clean warehouse, and as we all know, “pristine warehouse” is an oxymoron! Very few productions have the budget to build such an impractical set. With Cobalt’s Virtual Backlot, the challenge was easily met. This impractical, nonexistent space could be created virtually—for less money than feeding your crew bagels on location. Even better, instead of lighting an entire 300-foot deep, 100-foot tall warehouse, they only had to light the live action talent—a major time saver. With Virtual Sets, you’re finally free to create without limits. If you can dream it, you can have it.

Phase 2: Design your environment.
Now that Virtual Set technology is ubiquitous in Hollywood and popular worldwide, there’s no shortage of great 3D artists who can create or customize environments for any concept you can dream. Unbound by traditional budgetary or logistical concerns, we will point you towards a range of trusted CGI providers who can create beautiful and efficient 3D solutions for you.

Phase 3: Combine your “practical” set elements into your CG.
Say you plan to shoot in a virtual log cabin where people are sitting around a table. While the whole “world” of your production can be CG, you’ll want the table and chairs to be “practical” set pieces, so your cast is sitting on real chairs—at a real table. It’s always a good idea, whenever possible, to have your talent connect with live props. Also, grounding your actors to a practical floor saves time with matte cleanups and shadow restoration. Now, you’re ready to roll!

Phase 4: Shoot in your Virtual Set.
Like a practical set, you and your cast can walk through your 3D world and see your composite IN REAL TIME. With real-time compositing, actors, directors, and DPs experience the seamless merge of both worlds. This is such an extraordinary time-saver! It’s also one of many ways that Virtual Sets can make your life easier and more productive. Instead of struggling to try to fit your story into a budget challenged 2-wall set, why not have an entire villa/ castle/ Mars/ or the Moon??… to tell your story?

Phase 5: Post-Production Work
When you use our Virtual Backlot, we supply three deliverables in addition to camera footage: 1. camera move metadata 2. a rough composite to edit offline 3. a matte to combine with your source footage. The move metadata is used to marry your source footage with the CG environment, and the matte we supply facilitates the composite. With the rough composite, you can edit offline, and then, proceed to color correction for matching your hi-res CG renders to your green screen elements. Lastly, take your footage online for final compositing and finishing! That’s a total of two extra digital steps to substantially save you on the time, money, and environmental impact of traditional set building!

Set yourself free!! 
Let’s talk about elevating your next project with Cobalt's Virtual Backlot.


From Tax Credits to Virtual Set…

We can save your production serious money!

Your Plug & Play Production Solution
Since 1995, we’ve been perfecting Cobalt Stages. This is how we've become greater NYC’s all-inclusive production paradise. It doesn't happen overnight! With 23 years to work out all the kinks, we’re extremely well-equipped to serve the diverse needs of the production community. Because a key part of our mission is to save you money, our comprehensive package comes with a generous inventory of extras—just take a look at our 8 page list. While most soundstages come with a bare stage and nothing else, we go waaaaay beyond lighting, grip and distro. From our woodworking shop to our well-appointed client suite, we include more so your budget goes farther!

The NJ Film and TV Tax Credit
Save up to $10 million a year per production! New Jersey’s newly-reinstated tax incentives include 30 percent of qualifying ABOVE AND BELOW the line production expenses for productions who park themselves here. While this is a massive deal in its own right, experts say New Jersey’s incentives can save you even more than New York’s (which pertains to only below the line expenses). The program includes credits of $75 million per fiscal year for TV and film projects. So, now is a great time to lock it in. To learn more about the incentives, check out these FAQs or read the legislation in its entirety here.

Virtual Sets: Cost Savings & Creative Freedom
Virtual sets are a brilliant solution for cost-conscious productions.

Example 1:
Say you’re doing a vignette project, and you need to hit 5 locations in one day (outrageous…). Making 4 company moves in a day means spending more than half your time traveling instead of shooting. OR… Stay in one spot at Cobalt and bring the locations to you. AND you’re not chasing the sun.

Example 2:
Remember the Netflix show "Sense8” ???
As an attempt to salvage a very expensive episodic, we were approached by the producers… They completely saw the wisdom of using Cobalt’s Virtual Set capabilities to solve a location & travel budget that was way out of hand. Their idea was to shoot the show at Cobalt using our Virtual Set technology instead of continuing to fly the cast and crew around the world. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled before we could help.

Our Virtual Backlot means no travel costs, no location fees, no set construction costs or waste—just unrestricted camera movement, amazing production value and complete creative freedom.

To learn more about Virtual Sets and our Virtual Backlot, read our blog posts here and here.


From episodics to still photography...

We’re equipped to host every kind of production.

We power diverse productions.

Our turnkey facilities are the right size to host TV, film, and advertising productions. We welcome smaller projects, too! A studio’s versatility comes down to one simple thing: the ability to deliver POWER. While smaller studios that cater to web, stills, and social media may literally offer a mere HANDFUL of 20 amp OUTLETS, we offer 1500 amps of dedicated power on our main stage. We’re uniquely-equipped to host episodics and feature films, as evidenced by our recent clients.

What production genres does Cobalt serve?
We’re always thrilled to support features like our recent involvement in the remake of “Nosferatu”! It was very exciting to work with legendary VFX supervisor, John Bruno, and actor Doug Jones (“The Shape of Water”). We also welcome the entire spectrum of production genres including web, still photography, and social media, alike.

Episodics, Tax Breaks & Big News
We love episodics! We’ve been fortunate enough to host some great ones like CBS’s “Young Sheldon” and Apple’s “Dickinson” (a new comedic coming-of-age story starring Hailee Steinfeld as the poet, Emily Dickinson). We also recently hosted a project with producer/director, Alex Gibney, of Jigsaw Productions—the Showtime docu-series “Enemies: The President, Justice & The FBI”. We’re also expanding our ability to host episodics and helping productions take advantage of New Jersey’s Film & TV Tax Credit.

Music Videos & MoCo
We had the pleasure of producing the ‘blur’ motion control effect for the Ariana Grande video, “Breathe”. In the video, Ariana is singing in a train station amidst a blurry flurry of activity created by our Gazelle MoCo crane, which enabled the director to illustrate the passage of time via blur motion figures. This is an effect similar to the one we executed for Eminem’s video “Walk On Water” with Beyonce.

Commercial Capabilities & Client Comfort
Producers love bringing commercial clients to Cobalt with client areas that are spacious, comfortable, and well-appointed. We’ve hosted numerous commercial shoots for household names such as Walmart, Amazon, Squarespace, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Contigo, Taco Bell, LG, Verizon, Weight Watchers, Bank of America, United Health Care, 3M, Kay Jewelers, Blistex, Cacique, Budweiser, and the Metropolitan Opera.
The list goes on...

Celebrity Promos & Unmatched Hospitality
Our clients trust us to deliver next-level hospitality for their celebrity talent who seems to “love our boutique hotel-inspired client suite”! It’s well-appointed and inviting for stars who travel with an entourage or for those that simply enjoy privacy. Our craft service food bar even serves 40+ people! From fashion designer, Tory Burch, to celebrity chef, Aaron Sanchez, we’ve hosted luminaries from every imaginable genre. We’ve also had the honor of opening our studio to icons like Whoopi Goldberg (for the Academy Awards), Tim Gunn (host of Project Runway), and legendary filmmaker Ken Burns! Take advantage of our versatile, turnkey soundstage and elevate your next project with us


We over-prepare so you don’t have to.

Explore our complimentary tools, amenities & extras.

With our vast equipment inventory and comprehensive capabilities, we’ve been compared to a Swiss Army Knife—and yes, we do have a corkscrew. From our onsite scissor lift to our well-stocked woodshop, our space is equipped with thoughtful amenities that we offer our clients, gratis, for productivity and convenience.

All-in-one efficiency.
Cobalt’s turnkey soundstage includes a level of access and support that’s rare in the Industry. All our tools and amenities are hand-selected by seasoned professionals who understand precisely what’s needed to deliver the optimal turnkey client experience.

Comprehensive and cutting edge.
We’re early adapters - always investing in cutting-edge production tools. In particular, our motion control tools and Virtual Backlot are the most diverse and extensive on the East Coast. Schedule a tour today to explore the creative possibilities.


New Jersey’s Film & TV Tax Incentives ARE BACK.

And shooting at Cobalt is better than ever!

NJ’s Film and TV Tax Credit is back!
After a three year hiatus, New Jersey’s film and television production tax credit is now in effect for the fiscal year of 2019. According to New Jersey’s Motion Picture and Television Commission Associate Director, David W. Schoner, the program includes credits of $75 million per fiscal year for film and television projects. Get a load of that, NY ;-)

Better than NewYork’s tax incentives!!
Analysts tell us that New Jersey’s Film & TV Tax Credit is even stronger than New York’s incentives because it applies to a broader array of expenses. The NJ incentives include 30 percent of ABOVE AND BELOW the line on qualified production expenses for productions in New Jersey; whereas, New York’s tax credit pertains to only below the line expenses... It’s a great time to have us host your production here at Cobalt - Hollywood on the Hudson!

Want to save even more?
Working at Cobalt means never having to create your workspace from scratch! As a true Turnkey Soundstage, we offer cutting-edge production tools, onsite, like our cost-saving Virtual Backlot and motion control capabilities —the most comprehensive on the East Coast. Last but not least, we add even more value with our fully-furnished home ec kitchen, craft service kitchen, client suite, production office, conference room, and hair/ makeup/ wardrobe areas.

Schedule your tour today and we’ll show you what else we have to offer!
Get the NJ Film and TV Tax Credit to save up to $10 million a year! WOW!

For more information on the incentives, check out these FAQs.
To read the legislation in its entirety, click here.
To apply for the tax credit, visit njeda.com.


Benefit from backgrounds You didn’t think you could afford...

Now available at Cobalt Stages

Masterful solutions to real-world challenges.

For the better part of a decade, Hollywood filmmakers have used Virtual Sets to place stories in any setting they can imagine, for a fraction of the cost, time and ecological impact of shooting on location or set-building. Our Academy Award-winning technology has supported Virtual Set productions such as “American Gods”, PBS’s “Cosmos” with Neil deGrasse Tyson to Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”. (The list just keeps on growing...) Whenever you want to set a scene somewhere that’s inaccessible or cost prohibitive, Virtual Sets are a practical and economical solution.

Using Virtual Set on a TV commercial.

Cacique commercial shot at COBALT STAGES with celebrity chef, Aaron Sanchez.

Here’s a story that illustrates the usefulness of Virtual Set technology. A creative agency we work with had a client with a tight schedule and location needs that were well beyond that particular budget. The client, Cacique, needed to shoot two spots, in two days, in three different kitchens. Typically, a well-appointed, full-featured kitchen set runs about $22,000 to $25,000. They looked at location options, but the three kitchens were very specific and they couldn’t make it work. Plus, they needed a home ec kitchen to prepare all the on-set foods. Virtual Set at Cobalt Stages was the only way to make it happen. So, the agency engaged one of our post house partners to build the three virtual sets from existing, royalty-free assets. The client was able to secure the low res FBX files and the high res renders needed for less than the cost of ONE practical set. Performers were shot on green screen with nothing more than a propped foreground counter. Our Epic Dragon was on a jib-arm, completely free to move around, while clients and agency watched a FULL composite of the on-camera performance within the Virtual Set LIVE...IN REAL TIME.

Experience the benefits of Virtual Sets.

Get on board with this progressive technology now to save money, shoot sustainably, and make your productions look bigger and better. Our Virtual Backlot means no travel costs, no location fees, no set construction costs or waste—just unrestricted camera movement, amazing production value and complete creative freedom. To learn more about Virtual Sets and our Virtual Backlot, read our blog posts here and here.


The ultimate life-hack for producers: Rent the soundstage that gives you more.

Created by producers, for producers.

Producers, production managers and production coordinators love working here because we understand their challenges far better than your average soundstage rental company. Our many decades of combined Industry experience gave us the insight we needed to create the most comfortable, convenient and complete production experience possible. Cobalt has everything you need to support your clients across all of their creative endeavors.

Hospitality on a higher level.

Established 25 years ago, we’re the opposite of a bare-bones warehouse space where every last thing needs to be brought in from somewhere else. You don’t often hear the words “hospitality” and “soundstage” used together, but we’ve changed that! We’re generous with our support and supplies because we know how little things can add up to costly delays. In addition to our fully-furnished client suite and generous free amenities, we also stock a vast inventory of emergency expendables to minimize downtime.

Last minute? No worries.

Every production has a few last-minute needs. On a recent shoot, for example, our client was in need of repositionable glue sticks and a coffee table. In a blank-slate warehouse, dealing with this type of minutia might be a headache, but having been here for over 20 years, we were able to easily grab the required items on-site with no impact to our client’s busy schedule. Done!


A tale of two kitchens.

How our home ec and craft service kitchens serve you better.

User-friendly and versatile
spaces to work and refuel.

Cobalt kitchen

In keeping with the rest of our studio, Cobalt’s home ec and craft service kitchens are both spacious and thoughtfully-furnished, creating a warm and inviting experience for you and your clients. That’s where the similarities end! Our home ec kitchen is your behind-the-scenes secret weapon for food styling — fully-equipped, yet easy to reconfigure to the specifics of any and all food projects. Our craft service kitchen is an ultra-convenient gathering place where cast, crew and clients can be easily catered-to, while they regroup and recharge.

The ideal prep kitchen for food shoots.

Our home ec kitchen was purpose-built for food styling—the first step in properly portraying food and beverages. Your food stylist will never be stuck. With our ‘sanity-saving’ inventory of movable, adjustable and interchangeable kitchen components they will surely be set. To make a versatile space even more accessible, our home ec kitchen has a main door that opens directly to the stage and side door that opens to an additional prep area. This fully-functional kitchen also includes an industrial range hood, adjustable-height stainless steel tables, 4 baker’s racks, 40 full sheets, 2 double door refrigerators that accommodate our full sheets and chest freezers. There’s even a grocery store half a block away for last-minute needs.

Craft service, served with care.

Keeping clients and crew comfortable is important to any production, so we don’t just provide a folding table with paper plates and call it a day. With a massive food bar (full service for 40 people), 5 burner cooktop, microwave, 2 dishwashers, huge refrigerator and granite counters, we offer a low-stress and highly civilized craft service experience that leaves everyone refreshed and refueled. Sandwiched right between client and production suites, it’s ultra-accessible, too. From the most critical tools like our beloved Jura coffeemaker (complete with grinder), down to our cappuccino frother and bagel slicer, Cobalt’s kitchens offer everything you need and a generous supply of nice-to-haves, too.


Be a MoCo Master.

Take full advantage of our motion control tools and support.

Creativity without limits.

Motion control, or MoCo, gives us the flexibility to move the camera in three-dimensional space with precision and repeatability. It makes it possible to execute extremely dynamic camera moves that would be impossible to operate conventionally. For example, imagine a shot that starts high and wide, and then roars into a tabletop product shot. MoCo also allows you to composite elements in post-production that could not physically coexist in the same shot. Meaning, you could shoot a cat and a mouse side by side as separate elements, and then composite them together afterward. The precision of the camera’s movement makes the compositing undetectable, creating new opportunities for unbound creativity.

State-of-the-art motion control tools.

Our clients have convenient access to our comprehensive inventory of motion-controlled equipment—the largest and most diverse on the East Coast. Our Gazelle Motion Control Camera System interfaces with any and all digital cameras. It’s easily configurable in overslung (above the crane arm) or underslung (below the crane arm) modes, with various pan, tilt and roll head options. Cobalt’s motion control inventory includes turntables, sliders, high-speed sleds, and XY tables all curated to facilitate rapid design, engineering and construction.

Ariana Grande goes MoCo.

Last week, we had the honor of creating motion control VFX for an Ariana Grande video. In it, she’s singing in a train station, amidst a maelstrom of activity. Our MoCo system allowed the director to illustrate the passing of time via blur motion figures which moved all around the singer while she performed in Real Time. This is an effect similar to one we executed for Eminem’s video “Walk On Water” with Beyonce. The possibilities are endless. And THAT’s the magic of MoCo.

A highly consultative culture.

At Cobalt, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of client support to help you get the maximum benefit from our production equipment. We have a uniquely comprehensive library of motion control tools, but our goal is always to connect you with the most economical, useful and user-friendly solution. If it’s not in our inventory, we can leverage our relationships to connect you with the right tools for the job.