Tampa, Fla. – Vū, North America’s fastest growing network of virtual production studios for the film, video and advertising industries, today unveiled the LED Screen and 4K LED processor donation to The University of Tampa, valued at $750,000. This is Vū’s second major workforce development donation in the past year, following a more than $500,000 donation to the University of South Florida last fall.
“Vū stands at the forefront of the future of filmmaking, and like any emerging technology, our number one challenge is building out the workforce and ensuring we find individuals to fill these highly-skilled and high-paying positions,” said Tim Moore, CEO of Vū Technologies. “We are thrilled to partner with The University of Tampa as we develop a talent pipeline of graduates who will become leaders in the next generation of filmmaking.”
Unlike conventional filmmaking, virtual production allows filmmakers to shoot photo realistic virtual environments in the studio instead of having to travel on location, saving both cost and time.
“The relationship that UT’s College of Arts and Letters has with Vū is truly a synergistic one,” said David Gudelunas, Dean College of Arts and Letters. “We are both committed to making Tampa a place where technology and art contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of the city. The new LED volume on our campus will provide an unparalleled opportunity for students in the College of Arts and Letter to collaborate across disciplinary lines, get the most cutting edge hands-on experience, and produce projects that will break barriers.”
The cutting-edge, virtual production technology donation includes a 30-by-14-foot Vū LED Screen and 4K LED processor with installation to The University of Tampa for the purposes of local workforce development in virtual production. In addition, Vū is donating more than 120 hours of stage time and training at their flagship Tampa studio for students to get hands-on experience with the technology on a larger scale.
“The partnership with Vū and their donation of a LED Volume to UT marks a milestone for our program,” said Gregg Perkins, Associate Professor, Department of Film, Animation and New Media. “We are now able to train the workforce of tomorrow on a technology that is the future of the film and entertainment industry. Additionally, the ability to have students intern and work on professional shoots at Vu Studio gives them a competitive advantage once they graduate.”
Vū Technologies owns and operates advanced virtual production soundstages utilizing proprietary, patent-pending technologies that empower directors to shoot their talent in photorealistic LED volumes. Vū Technologies has quickly become the largest and quickest growing network of virtual studios in North America, with studios opening in Orlando and Las Vegas, in addition to its Tampa and Nashville studios.
The technology startup company recently raised the largest seed investment round in Florida history, with an impressive $17 million seed investment from ADX Labs, Topmark Partners, and Angel investment syndicates from Orlando, Tampa, and Texas.
“Vu is determined to grow the virtual production workforce,” said Anji Corley, Vū Global Ambassador and Director of Academics and Workforce Development. “By offering classroom and experientially-based programming to both students and faculty, these collaborations provide the training and up-skilling to curate and enhance Tampa Bay area talent, bring a competitive advantage to our region, boost our local and state economy, and most importantly help the bright and talented students graduating from these programs find high-paying jobs in an emerging field.”
As part of its workforce development program, Vū has created a learning management system that will be used to track, train, and empower students resulting in certification in Virtual Production. Virtual production is not only a game-changer in the film and video industry but will also impact many adjacent industries such as gaming, military, and medical simulation.
“We’re thrilled that students working on their MAs in Social and Emerging Media will have access to this state-of-the-art technology,” said Stephanie Tripp, Associate Professor, Director of the Masters of Social and Emerging Media Masters Program. “Our graduate students will now be able to learn about virtual production by writing and producing content right here on campus.”
In addition to workforce education, Vū leadership has been actively engaged with local schools and universities at various levels in the Tampa Bay area.
Vū has substantially invested in R&D, integrating camera tracking and real-time rendering applications to create immersive virtual environments for actors to perform in geographically diverse studios in real time. Vū’s deep integration of Mo-Sys camera tracking technology, Mark Roberts Motion Control, Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, NVIDIA GPUs and other integration partners’ systems allow effectively realistic backgrounds to be generated in real-time, rendered from the point of view of the moving camera with perfect parallax.
Vū Studios has worked with clients such as Mercedes, Apple, The Mill, Disney, WWE and anticipates clientele to continue to grow exponentially this year.