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Saskatchewan's LED wall comes to life on the set of Hostile Takeover

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Provincial officials tour the set of Hostile Takeover to see the new LED wall in action at the John Hopkins Soundstage

REGINA – The new virtual LED sound wall was on full display during the production of Hostile Takeover at the John Hopkins Regina Soundstage.

The action-thriller comedy is the first virtual production to utilize Volume Global's LED wall and ecosystem. On Tuesday, provincial officials, including Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport Laura Ross, along with representatives from Creative Saskatchewan, toured the recording studio set and saw the virtual wall in action.

The wall was set up to show night scenes from New York City and the New York skyline. It was also customized to show various street scenes.

The LED Volume Wall was officially unveiled in March 2024, but this was the first time those responsible were able to actually see the various virtual settings in action and with cameras rolling.

“I was here when the wall was up and it was grey walls with some visual effects,” Ross said. “But when you walk in here today, what do you see? You see New York City and you realize we're bringing New York to Saskatchewan. But it also shows the technology and how much the film industry has changed and this is a wonderful opportunity for Saskatchewan and the recording studio here to really shine.”

She also pointed out that this is a far more economical option for filmmakers to shoot in Saskatchewan.

“So if you were filming in New York, you would shut down how many blocks, right, you would upset how many people in New York City, because even though it has an economic impact on the city, it's still an inconvenience for people,” Ross said. “Then you look at the cost of what it would cost to put the crew in hotels, the cost of transportation. We've all been in big cities where you spend more time trying to get somewhere than you do getting anywhere. Well, we know that in Regina, it takes five minutes to get here from downtown by taxi, and ten minutes if you want to walk. And then you look at the dollar, so it really makes a lot of sense for the film industry to take Regina, this recording studio, very seriously.”

The technology was brought to Saskatchewan as part of a joint project between Volume Global and Saskatchewan-based production company Karma Film. This LED sound studio is the largest in Canada and the second largest in North America after the one in Atlanta.

“This is the future of filmmaking,” said Anand Ramayya, founder and CEO of Karma Film. “This is how all major projects will be made from now on. There are so many benefits, but it also gives filmmakers a whole new tool to basically make anything they can imagine. We can shoot here in Regina, anywhere in the universe, in any location of your imagination, and we can shoot all year long.”

Ramayya says there are plans to use the LED wall after the shooting of Hostile Takeover is complete. There are also plans for a horror film, another action series and then a science fiction production in the new year.

The cast of “Hostile Takeover” includes action star Michael Jai White of “Black Dynamite” and “The Dark Knight” and Saskatoon actress Aimee Stolte of “Escape the Night” and “Megalodon.”

The film is produced and financed by Volume Global, Automatic Entertainment, Dovetale Media, Fun Republic Pictures and Karma Film, with Creative Saskatchewan providing a grant of over $3.3 million. According to the province's press release, Creative Saskatchewan estimates that the production will create 140 new jobs and that the economic spin-off will be approximately $14 million.