January 8, 2024 – Culver City, CA – Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced today the establishment of Torchlight, a new groundbreaking advanced visualization facility located at Sony Pictures in Culver City. The space will feature the latest in proprietary technology from Sony Group companies in collaboration with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the world's most open and advanced real-time 3D tool.

Torchlight allows filmmakers to create digital scenes prior to principal photography, in a hands-on virtual environment using Unreal Engine and virtual cameras, including the Virtual Production Tool Set, which seamlessly links virtual environments with on-set production using Sony’s digital cinema VENICE camera. The facility, which also gives filmmakers the flexibility to communicate to stakeholders in real-time and with unique specificity in film production, provides services that can help serve as a roadmap for visual effects, art department assets, principal photography, set design, gaming assets, marketing assets, and more.

The space will also be equipped with Sony technologies including the mobile motion capture system, mocopi™, which provides full-body motion tracking with lightweight sensors, and Hawk-Eye Innovations’ optical tracking system, SkeleTRACK, which is used by top sports leagues around the world for real-time player, object and ball tracking. These technologies, and more, are incorporated into the workflow at Torchlight.

Sony Corporation will continue to provide Torchlight with the latest advancements in technology, as the Sony Group companies work together to continue to develop and test new technologies.

“Sony values creators and we are always searching for ways to make the most of their time. Torchlight empowers filmmakers with real-time creation to help turn creative sparks to stories,” says Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman and CEO of Sony Group Corporation.

Torchlight will be overseen by Alex LoCasale (SVP, Visualization) and Alex Cannon (Creative Director, Visualization) who will report to Andy Davis (President, Production Administration, Columbia Pictures) and Sanford Panitch (President, Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group).

“For my entire career, I always dreamed about a state-of-the-art facility where we could give filmmakers, creators and storytellers a way to experiment with the highest quality pre-visualization and give them the ability to play with ideas and sequences – and even entire films,” says Sanford Panitch, President, Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group. “Sony’s extraordinary technology and its investment in Epic Games along with the brilliant leadership at Torchlight have made this dream come true.”

Adds Alex Cannon, Creative Director, Visualization, Torchlight, "Coming from a traditional VFX background, I've experienced the challenges that come with developing a filmmaker's vision and the pressures that build when a project ramps up. Torchlight offers filmmakers the ability to express their ideas in real-time, using tools designed for their unique sensibilities. We can invite creative partners into our space and within moments produce memorable images that would normally take weeks or months.”

Torchlight is operational and currently working on several projects.

Sony Group Corporation (SGC) is an investor in Epic Games. SGC’s investment is an effort to collaborate with Epic in pursuit of new entertainment possibilities by combining their expertise, including their powerful game engine, Unreal Engine, with Sony’s various technologies.