James Dolan’s Sphere Launches Immersive Entertainment Production Facility In Burbank Equipped With High-Res ‘Big Sky’ Cameras

James Dolan’s Sphere Entertainment, which was spun off from MSG Entertainment in April, has opened Sphere Studios, a Burbank facility for producers of immersive projects.

The space is dedicated to developing next-generation productions designed to be shown its parent company’s Sphere venues. The flagship Sphere, a high-tech blend of audio and visual technology that has caught the attention of a range of film and media pros, will open in Las Vegas this fall with a run of concerts by U2, followed by the October premiere of an immersive title called Postcard from Earth. Among the site’s many cutting-edge features is what is billed as the world’s highest-resolution LED screen.

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Sphere Studios, which features a quarter-sized replica of the Vegas Sphere screen as a means of helping creative teams fine-tune their work, will showcase technology like the Big Sky ultra-high resolution camera system.

“Sphere Studios is not only creating content, but also technology that is truly transformative,” said David Dibble, CEO of MSG Ventures, a division of Sphere Entertainment focused on developing advanced technologies for live entertainment. He went on to describe the Vegas location as “an experiential medium featuring an LED display, sound system and 4D technologies that require a completely new and innovative approach to filmmaking.”

Big Sky, Dibble maintained, is “the most advanced camera system in the world” and was created by the company “out of innovative necessity. This was the only way we could bring to life the vision of our filmmakers, artists and collaborators for Sphere.”

The studio campus in Burbank spans 68,000 square feet of various facilities encompassing production, editing, post-production, sound stages for mixing spatial audio, and camera and 3D printing labs. The centerpiece of the campus is “Big Dome,” a 28,000-square-foot, 100-foot-high geodesic dome that serves as Sphere Studios’ screening and production facility as well as a laboratory for content.

The Big Sky camera system was developed in-house at Sphere Studios and was designed to be able to capture a significantly greater degree of detail than prior setups. “Big Sky is a giant leap forward for imaging and a testament to the innovative teams at Sphere Studios who made this technology a reality,” said Deanan DaSilva, the lead architect of Big Sky at Sphere Studios. “Big Sky allows us to capture cinematic content at a level of detail never before possible, opening up extraordinary possibilities and pushing immersive imaging technology forward in a way that will resonate throughout the entertainment industry.”

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