Reporting Sarah Arbogast
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh is earning a new nickname as the Hollywood of the East.
A big announcement today helped to cement that title.
A movie and television production facility in the Strip District is bringing technology that, until now, was only on the west coast.
From “Batman” to “Unstoppable,” Pittsburgh has recently had a lot of Hollywood action and don’t expect that to stop any time soon.
One reason why is 31st Street Studios.
“We have the largest facility outside of Los Angeles, This is 10 acres, 300,000 square feet, eight sound stages when we are done,” 31st Street Studios CEO Chris Breakwell said.
The building is huge and perfect for filming big blockbusters.
Besides the size, there will be another incentive to shoot here.
At a news conference today, Breakwell announced that he has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University and Knight Vision Studios in Los Angeles to bring in motion capture technology similar to what was used in the film “Avatar.”
“We put people in spandex suits and then they have markers on the spandex suits and there are a series of cameras in the ceilings and on the wall that will look for those markers on the suits and translate that into an animated character in real time,” James Knight said.
31st Street Studios will be the only facility outside of Los Angeles to have the technology.
Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO in the “Star Wars” series, is also a visiting scholar at CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center.
“To have this kind of studio facility in Pittsburgh astounds me. I’m used to being in places like this, but generally they are in the Los Angeles area,” Daniels said.
The equipment itself hasn’t yet arrived, but when it does, crews will only take a few days to set up.
There are already some big Hollywood projects are in the works.