Pre-Production

Your All-in-One Production Resource

In our "Soundstage for Creators" series, we're talking about smart strategies for meeting the creative community's rapidly-evolving needs. Read on for accessible solutions for streamlining, simplifying, and securing your project, so you're always efficient and ready for anything during pre-pro.

Master Pre-Production Productivity
Yes, you know that we are a by-producers, for-producers soundstage, but how is this relevant to you in your ever important pre-production whirlwind? If you launch a project in an empty warehouse space, it’s sadly a DIY deal. In contrast, we at Cobalt already have most of what you need to achieve your goal. In addition, we are your enormous safety net to catch and cover everything from last-minute creative inspiration to unforeseen unknowns.

As we see it, you can rent space and time from another soundstage, but we provide something more: solutions and security. Need to build practical sets? Work in our woodshop. Need a production office? Work in our fully-equipped production suite the week before the shoot. Need more space for your production team?? Our Hobo House location is just 3 blocks away! TONS of space to spread out during your pre-production endeavor.

Our Virtual Backlot: Pre-Production Powerhouse
We’re committed to “pulling back the curtain” to reveal the truth behind our Virtual Backlot. Here’s what you need to know... At this point, the technology is no longer bleeding edge at all — it’s now well established with a well-worn path to success.

We’ve created a list of VSet/Virtual Backlot FAQs on our blog, but we can answer a few right here:

Q: How is the Virtual Environment designed?
A: The same as always - with the help of a designer who works in the 3-D workspace.

Q: Does it add significant cost?
A: Quite the contrary. You can build unimaginable production value into your environment, especially of you make use of the plentiful royalty free assets that can be found on the web, at a fraction of the cost of either set building or going on location.

Q: Does the Virtual Set need to be completed before production.
A: Absolutely not. Our system allows you to finish your CG AFTER principle photography, so you can shoot with only a wireframe of your set, and finish in the comfort of a post-suite.

The main difference in the Virtual Set production process is this: To access this image-elevating, pandemic-smart, cost-saving, sustainable set-creation tool, most of your to-do list is on the Pre-Production end.

We're here to provide world-class support for Creators that doesn't break the bank. All these things are in place and ready to kick into gear oh so easily at our Virtual Backlot.

Don't you want to come over and play?

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

Your All-in-One Production Resource

Jerry Seinfeld’s “24 Hours to Kill” shoot at Cobalt.
See Alex on the Right as 'MoCo McGuyver'!!!

It’s Not Just About Time and Space.
Production life is always evolving, with new challenges and opportunities emerging every second. To serve you better, our “by-producers, for-producers” soundstage sees productions as dynamic puzzles, not by-the-pound commodities. Anybody can sell studio space and time, but we do what no other soundstage can. We provide premium production support, and we don’t just mean that we support your project. We support you.

The Future of Production is Personal.
“We don’t see our clients as the sum of their projects. Our approach is relationship-driven because we know we can help elevate your profile as a Creator,” said Prezz Kara Vedder. “For instance, a producer-client of ours recommended that Netflix book Cobalt for Jerry Seinfeld’s 24 Hours to Kill. When Jerry came up with an ambitious last minute creative idea, we were able to keep everything smooth. We used our onsite Robotics inventory and Motion Control expertise to deliver a working and fully-propped laser beam on the spot. They wouldn’t have been able to do this on the same day anywhere else. Our clients keep coming back because they know we have their backs.”

Production Expertise at Your Fingertips.
Our boutique-hotel hospitality and high-tech production playground are unique on the East Coast, but our consultative support is something you really can’t get anywhere else. We are seasoned production problem-solvers. We understand production life, and we want to make sure everyone looks good. So, from the first call to hold the space to the last-minute rescue when the unforeseen happens, we’re here to guide you through the most efficient, cost-effective strategies for production without compromising on creativity.


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 Cobalt Experience

Why Production Culture Matters

As a "by-producers, for-producers" turnkey soundstage, our next-level amenities and customer service have been compared to a boutique hotel experience. For us, that’s the ultimate compliment. We made a conscious decision to infuse that level of hospitality and attention-to-detail into our
company culture.

A Service-Obsessed Culture.
Decades of experience has proven this over and over. Making the soundstage experience as smooth and as streamlined as possible helps productions focus on what matters most: the work. From the moment you call us, we’re committed to delivering a full-on concierge experience. Planning your first pandemic-smart Safe Shoot with us? Need a consultation on Virtual Sets or Remote Camerawork Robotics? Whatever it is, we’ve got you covered.

Little Things That Mean a Lot.
We’ve done some heroic things to help our clients pull off projects, because well... that’s just what we do. But in some ways, the routine things that we do, really mean the most. For instance, it may sound boring, but we even give real-time accounting updates. We invoice within two days when a project wraps just because "we get it". When you’re on to the next project, you don’t want to wait around for paperwork from the last one. Right??

More.
We're also a “more-is-more” soundstage. We provide more private client breakout spaces, more smooth amenities, and more high-tech production tools than any other soundstage on the East Coast. We take pride in our Swiss Army Knife-style preparedness, and even in a poopie pandemic, we are committed to more. Yes, we have a Spa Trolley full of fresh slippers and robes, and YES... we honor the fact that streamlining complexity - even in accounting - is every producer’s love language. Come see what more feels like in production :)


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.


Why We ❤️ TurboSquid

And how it makes creators' dreams come true.

You've probably seen TurboSquid models like the one above hundreds of times, and didn't know it.

 

TurboSquid models are used by directors, agencies, architects, content studios, advertisers, and creative professionals around the world.

What is TurboSquid?
TurboSquid is our favorite place to find existing CG models! The TurboSquid website is a library of readymade CG environments created by independent CG artists around the globe. Chances are you've seen TurboSquid models hundreds of times in TV, films, and ads and didn't know it. That's because countless game developers, news agencies, architects, visual effects studios, advertisers, and creative professionals use TurboSquid's crowdsourced CG environments. And now you know!

Pull a set from a Castle. Or a Log Cabin.
A quick spin around the site reveals a small Japanese house for $164, complete with potted plants, a lamppost, and even a tasteful little trash can! Need to build a neighborhood? Add more homes from the same designer, and even a Tatami Store! At a glance, other options run the gamut from Medieval Monasteries to Modernist Mansions. There are even cartoon styles! In 2021, every production professional should be familiar with the infinite options these 3D environments deliver. It’s now easy to find affordable CG geometries for your beach house, commercial kitchen, opulent living room, working laboratory, Wall Street office space, or any other setting you can imagine.

Endless Possibilities for Creators
While some projects require custom CG geometries, many can be found royalty-free on sites like TurboSquid. There are other services like CGTrader, too, but the business model (self-service shopping for crowdsourced CG models)is the same. You can grab a few CG environments, and use a CG firm or freelance CG artist to combine, customize, and re-light them for your scene. Then, you're ready to roll. Virtual Sets are a big opportunity for pandemic-smart productions, and they’re environmentally-friendly, too! (Not to mention the extraordinary location fees you’re saving when you're charged to shoot somewhere like the NYC Subway System or the Soho Grand Hotel.) Keep reading about Virtual Sets, or call us for a virtual or in-person tour of our Virtual Backlot here at Cobalt.


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 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.