What's in a Cobalt estimate?

Superior cost certainty.

There are clear advantages to working with a Soundstage that understands the nuanced needs of production. Here’s what we think you should know about soundstage estimates.

The Purpose Behind Cobalt’s “No-Surprises” Estimate.
As a “By Producers, For Producers” Soundstage, we know that post-production surprises are never good. In this relationship-driven Industry, we want you to feel empowered and supported—not taken advantage of. To serve you better, our estimates go far beyond the Industry standard, so you know exactly what you’re getting and how much it will cost. First, we add a layer of consulting to the initial inquiry phase, where we find out your project parameters and offer expert strategies on cost-control and efficiency. Then, we crunch the numbers upfront, so you start out with the most accurate estimate possible.

Transparency and Collaboration are Cobalt Core Values.
While our Turnkey Soundstage offering gets you the best value, we also break your estimate down line by line. (Look at the “stage line” in our estimate in order to compare apples-to-apples with warehouse-style stages.)

Here’s the beauty of a Cobalt estimate.
Before the job even starts, we show you all the costs that other stages will surprise you with at the end of your shoot. This way, you can feel confident about your budget from start to finish. We encourage you to compare our estimates against other stages… Look at the final itemized invoices, and you can easily see that being vague upfront is no accident by the other companies… It’s a strategy for winning your business with a low number, then itemizing every last extension cord, power strip, and folding chair. Our strategy is the exact opposite—we’re committed to delivering superior cost certainty.

 

Give us a call for a full-featured estimate
you can trust.
Let’s talk.

 


We are closer to Midtown than Brooklyn.

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

Let’s talk.


NJ Reopens: Governor Lifts Indoor Mask Rules, Rolls Back Restrictions

With the state’s COVID-19 benchmarks achieved, New Jersey Governor Murphy is lifting the Indoor mask mandate and removing social distancing requirements and gathering limits. Learn more here.

 

Got questions or concerns?
Let’s talk.

 


We are closer to Midtown than Brooklyn.

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

Let’s talk.


Springtime at The Hoboken House

Upgrades, Productions, and Crafty Alfresco

Close and convenient to NYC, Cobalt’s Hoboken House location is our 2,000 square foot Carriage House with three bedrooms, three full baths, a private garden, and a Euro-style chef’s kitchen.

Reliable Livestreaming on Location
As we’re all getting used to clients and decision-makers weighing in remotely, Livestreaming has become an integral part of the standard production toolkit. And we know that we’re all at the mercy of the internet bandwidth and connection stability when we Livestream on location. To make working, shooting, and Livestreaming at “Hobo House” even more seamless, we invested in three drops of wired internet: one downstairs and one at either end of the space upstairs. We’re able to put the Livestream on its own SSID, too!

Versatile, Configurable Spaces
From a Director, DP or Producer’s perspective, we understand the need for one location that offers a wide variety of shots. Hobo House provides multiple looks in one location, so you can shoot a kid running downstairs and out the door for school, Dad throwing a Frisbee to the dog outside, and Mom making cupcakes in the kitchen. A commercial shoot for Blistex filmed in Hobo House’s sun-drenched living room took advantage of the kitchen for setting up Video Village. Clients shooting here and at our Soundstage (three blocks away) are also setting up Crafty outside in our private courtyard with its ping pong table, BBQ grill, and secure breezeway.

Production-Ready Features
Created by producers, Hobo House’s ceiling-height windows flood the space with natural light. Its open floor plan and soaring ceilings free up your production to get the shots you want. Our connected kitchen, dining room, and living room allow your DP to step back and get wide using longer lenses — without having to compromise your creativity.

 

Schedule a tour or call us to book
The Hoboken House for your next production.
Let’s talk.

 


We are closer to Midtown than Brooklyn.

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

Let’s talk.


Consult with us on Cost-Saving Production Strategies and more!

As a “By Producers, For Producers” Soundstage, we have decades of experience on “both sides”. And over the years, we’ve learned that there are clear advantages to working with companies that understand the needs of productions and producers.

Cost, Convenience, and Comfort.
Many of our client consultations are about these three universal topics. Our approach to helping productions control costs involves thoughtful upfront planning to help leverage the added value that only a Turnkey Soundstage can deliver. For example, some equipment and services cost double what we charge to bring in on your own… That’s because it’s often standard for soundstages to charge a la carte for every last clothespin… (That’s their biz model – eek.) At Cobalt, we create value by including more of the basics, gratis. Then there’s Turnkey convenience—having everything you need here and ready to go is a proven time and sanity-saver. Between our private furnished client spaces, Hoboken House location, and generous free amenities, we do our absolute best to impress you and your clients with boutique hotel-level comfort.

 

Consult with us on your next project and see how we can help you optimize cost-efficiency, comfort, and convenience.
Let’s talk.

 


We are closer to Midtown than Brooklyn.

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

Let’s talk.


What makes us a soundstage?

It’s a lot more than our cyc!

At Cobalt, we’re serious about sound. We’re so serious that our audio quality got a resounding “thumbs up” from the Metropolitan Opera – from the singers and technicians alike! We know all stages aren’t created equal, so we wanted to share the science behind the art of recording production-quality sound!

What is a soundstage?
A soundstage is a production facility that can be used to record production sound along with the images. There are some physical considerations, but the main differentiator is soundproofing. To create the East Coast’s first true Turnkey Soundstage, we invested in extensive sound-testing and soundproofing under the supervision of an expert audio engineer.

Stellar sound is all about control.
To keep outside sounds out and to prevent unwanted reverberation inside, we filled every nook and cranny with Mass Loaded Vinyl. Then we built an airlock between our production spaces and the stage, so people can gather around the Craft Service bar while shooting continues, onstage. To that, we added zoned electronics, so a random phone call won’t ever interrupt filming. And finally, we wrapped our plumbing in sound-absorbing foam and vinyl, boxed out our roof drains, draped vinyl strips in front of our gigantic sliding door to the garage, and applied six inches of sound insulation to the ceiling—the project’s biggest investment.

 

For optimal production sound, work with the Soundstage that’s Met Opera-Approved!
Let’s talk.

 


We are closer to Midtown than Brooklyn.

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

Let’s talk.


Cobalt on the Road 2021: Making Magic, Coast to Coast.

Yup, we’re more than just a soundstage! We’ve deployed our expertise in all sorts of environments, Coast to Coast. Read on for a few examples of Creators making magic with Cobalt on the Road.

Chris Rock x Cobalt on the Road
When Chris Rock’s team calls with a production emergency, you don’t let it go to voicemail! We recently pulled off a near-miraculous TV gig in Chicago supporting Chris Rock’s comedy special with just 48 hours’ notice! Challenged with coordinating equipment and talent in three time zones, we devised a custom rig to fit in an extremely tight space. As true team effort, one of Cobalt’s Stage Managers even drove the rig overnight to Chicago, so our client wouldn’t miss a beat. Success!!

Albert Einstein, Live and on Location
PBS’s “Light Falls: Space, Time and an Obsession of Albert Einstein” brought Einstein’s work to life through a groundbreaking multimedia stage performance. The show’s narrator and actors performed live between two scrims, each with its own perfectly-synchronized projection, which we combined to create a dimensional live hologram effect. The whole performance was captured with seven cameras to produce 60 visually-stunning shots. To match the projections precisely with the performers and audio, we used Time Code Triggering to sync devices to great effect!

Back to School in Syracuse – recent Feature Film work
Team Cobalt packed up and headed Upstate just the other day! The project, a girl-powered coming of age story, was being shot on location in a decommissioned school in Syracuse, NY. Our challenging effect showed the scene’s protagonist interacting with classmates in a crowded high school hallway while everyone, except the lead, moving in reverse. Shooting the actor and different groups of extras, in separate passes required complex choreography. In the scene, she bumped into some extras while others passed in front and behind her. The star moving forward and extras moving in reverse gave us a lot to keep track of!

We’re here to provide world-class service and support in the studio and on location.
Let’s talk.


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.


Cobalt on the Road: Producing Projects, Coast to Coast

Got a project on the West Coast, or anywhere in the continental U.S.? We’ve also historically shot in Moscow, Beirut and Bucharest, too. Now, we’re delivering our signature support and cutting edge tools to a Los Angeles project where we’ve been asked to contribute our savvy know-how.

Sometimes all you need is a good beach.
We’re in LA now, working on a project with some pretty incredible time-travel cinematic tricks! While we love the control of working in the studio, we also LOVE jumping in an RV to support your exciting projects. In the past two months, we’ve done it twice. We can meet you wherever you are with trusted resources – both general production or VFX specific.

We deliver.
Relationships and experience are the keys to Cobalt’s success on the road. Clients often ask if we have accounts in LA, and the answer is yes! We’ve had active accounts set up for decades with reliable suppliers spanning camera rentals, lighting, grip, Motion Control, insurance, prop houses, VSet and more. We also nurture strong relationships with crew members on both coasts, so YES, we can also recommend a good gaffer or two!

We’re here to provide world-class service and support in the studio and on location— We produce, and help you produce,
Coast to Coast : )


Book our Turnkey Soundstage.
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.


Cobalt’s Guide to Post-Production

In our Soundstage for Creators series, we're talking about smart strategies for meeting the creative community's rapidly-evolving needs. Read on for our strategies to make Post-Production an efficient and uplifting experience.

Should You “Fix it in Post?”
Today’s incredible Post-Production tools make it tempting to push more effects work to the Post-Production phase. Should you?? Our in-house VFX maestro, Alex Fernbach, had this to say, “Some things are better handled In-Production while others are more expensive to do in Post. Cobalt is an effects supervisor’s best friend because we have the knowledge and resources on hand to elevate your image efficiently and cost-effectively. We offer Motion Control robotics, but if your effect can be achieved with a simple mirror, we’ll tell you. We’re client-centric and tool-agnostic.” As a by-producers, for-producers soundstage, we believe that nurturing our client relationships means more than renting out a piece of equipment.

Virtual Sets & Post-Production
When you’re working with Virtual Sets, Post-Production does take center stage - and many have lots of questions on the topic. Our Virtual Backlot is purpose-built to create the most efficient production path for our clients. Productions like “The Mandalorian” use the latest VSet technology to show a live composite, but outside of Hollywood, it’s untenable.

For most productions, having all your CG assets designed and approved before shooting begins is a tall order and an unreasonable stressor. The tried and true green screen production path gives you the slack you need, so you can work out the time consuming nuances in Post at a fraction of the cost (and risk). Trying to do this Live (like with the Unreal Engine), can bring production to an unnecessary halt - sometimes for the slightest thing. Post-Production resources for VSets are so well-distributed and so reasonably-priced, we can easily guide you toward the CG professionals you need to make the most of your budget and creativity.

Serving as a Post-Production Resource
We’re diligent about getting you your “day after actual” paperwork quickly, in a form that’s tidy and complete with no surprises. (And being Turnkey makes Cobalt’s invoices a lot shorter than most.) As a relationship-driven company, we’re happy to share our resources. And when you use our onsite production tools and support, our VFX technical notations are meticulous, so the editor isn’t guessing.

We're here to provide world-class support to Creators from Pre to Post Production, and everything else in between.


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.


Park your production with us.

Park your production with us.

We compared Hoboken’s on-street parking with NYC’s.

HOBOKEN

$1 per hour
Hoboken meter rates around
our facilities at all times of day.

NYC

Up to $7.50 per hour
NYC’s hourly parking rates
depending on time of day.


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.


SOUNDSTAGE FOR CREATORS: How Cobalt Empowers Creators On Set

In Production

How Cobalt Empowers Creators On Set

In our Soundstage for Creators series, we're talking about smart strategies for meeting the creative community's rapidly-evolving needs. Cobalt’s turnkey creative solutions and safety nets ensure that you're always ready to solve problems and seize creative inspiration—even at the very last minute.

Your Creative Safety Net
You’re in the production phase and the wheels start turning. You’re always well-prepared, so what happens next depends on two things: fate and the facility. You wouldn’t perform a triple somersault from a trapeze without a safety net—you’d have to play it safe. The same is true for productions! When Jerry Seinfeld had a last-minute idea that featured a James Bond-style laser beam, our onsite Motion Control Robotics empowered him to create freely in the moment. Of course, it's not always as glamorous as that; sometimes production grinds to a halt for the need of a piece of Plexiglass. When you shoot at Cobalt, our experienced support people and comprehensive collection of “emergency expendables” means you’ll never be stuck for a solution.

The Biggest Opportunity Now
To elevate image quality and reduce costs, nothing compares to the value of virtual sets. Unlike practical sets, with virtual sets you’re blissfully unfettered by space, budget, and talent constraints. If you want a bigger set, draw a bigger rectangle. If you want ornamental woodwork worthy of a Russian Tsar, you can easily have it, because you’re carving pixels, not high-end exotic wood. With virtual sets, the only things that need to be practical are the things actors need to touch or sit on.

As you may have guessed, this streamlines lighting dramatically. Instead of building elaborate sets, trucking in loads of lights and devoting countless hours to installing and removing them, your DP can focus on lighting the actors and a few props. The rest is handled by moving virtual lights in virtual space. We love virtual sets because the crew time, set time, and equipment cost savings are stunning, and the sets are as big, detailed, and impressive as you like. If you haven’t demoed our Virtual Backlot yet, it’s definitely worth your time.

Cobalt’s Creative Incubator
Turnkey security and virtual sets value aren’t the only production game-changers we offer. To wrap your mind around all the possibilities, every Tri-State creator should get familiar with our ultra-configurable spaces, motion control robotics, world-class live streaming, wood shop, home-ec kitchen, and our massive inventory of production tools. Want to collaborate with creators in real-time across an unlimited number of locations? We’ve got your live streaming needs covered. Want to orchestrate complex camera moves to show a product in a compelling, new way? Leverage our unique motion control equipment inventory, along with our expertise for making the most of it. And, if you have a big idea and don’t know where to start, we’re always here to talk shop and offer support.


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.