Victor Perez: Setting Up

When good friend of Escape, Victor Perez, approached us to help kit out his new personal studio we were more than happy to oblige.

Victor has produced his own award-winning short films and, in a career spanning more than 20 years, worked with several large VFX houses on multiple features. But Victor has decided to go it alone, and with the help of us and a team of engineers from Dolby and Acusticarte working for more than a year, Victor Perez’ spectacular studio – on the side of his house – is finished.

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Victor had a vision of his dream studio and worked with architects, designers, and sound engineers to create it. Escape Technology’s first task was to build the workhorse of the studio: a dual Intel 8160 processor HP Z8 workstation. With 24 Core processors, 256GB RAM, a full 32TB framestore, and dual NVLinked NVIDIA Quadro RTX8000s, there’s not a lot that this machine can’t handle. Victor chose an EIZO Prominence reference panel, paired with two EIZO 31" ColorEdge CG319X

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The studio is equipped with a Control4 domotic system, so everything – from the lights, temperature, shades, and screen wings for aspect ratio of projection – is controlled with a remote (or from Victor’s iPhone). But the star of the show is the IMAX enhanced screen (THX and ISA Certified) paired with a Sony 4K laser cinema projector and full Dolby Atmos sound system using Meyer Sound AMIE and AMIE SUB speakers.

To create perfect sound isolation, the studio was designed to be a room within a room: the actual studio floor lies on springs to maximise the acoustic isolation both ways from inside to outside and vice versa. Victor took very special care over the aesthetics, designing the ceiling himself in collaboration with Spanish acoustic engineer Samuel Costa. It features an origami-style and maximises the acoustic qualities of the studio. 

Being a colour specialist, Victor chose the materials of the walls (phono-absorbent fabrics) with an adequate spectre and index of reflection to avoid a colour declination influence that could affect his perception of light. The studio has two sets of lights: one calibrated at D65 (6500K) and the other with an RGB control to create ambience with a possibility of 16 million colours.

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The core technology of the studio resides in an sound-isolated and refrigerated rack enclosure containing the HP Z8 and all the hardware needed to deal with sound and video, together with an APC UPS and batteries that could keep the setup working for several hours in case of blackout. Victor is also using a Mac Mini and LTO tape via thunderbolt for archive and backup of all computers and storage in the studio. Everything is at the highest standards for security.

In terms of workflow, Victor assembled the studio as both a working creative office and a screening room. The main use of the screen is for review and dailies. The ability to evaluate VFX shots using a 4K IMAX cinema screen remotely with any VFX facility in the world is incredible. And it’s achievable in real time via Cinesync and videoconference, making it possible to perform better than being on-site. All this gives Victor time alone to study and review, and even to record reviews to be sent in a different video.

The studio also provides the ability to edit on AVID or Adobe Premiere Pro and output the editing live to the projector. Victor built this setup to face the editorial and post production requirements of his upcoming project as director for his first feature film, Ensemble. 

And as if that wasn’t enough, the screening room serves a dual purpose as a home-theatre using a THX certified AV Receiver by ONKYO connected to a professional SONY UHD/BD Player, Apple TV 4K… and a PlayStation4. 

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At the desk you’ll find a couple of Meyer Sound HD-1 sound monitors calibrated for studio mixing and preview with the Dolby Atmos system on the screening room side. And for video, the desk is just paradise for any audio-visual creative: an EIZO Prominence Dolby Vision enabled monitor gets the image output through a BlackMagic Design 4K Ultrastudio 3, compatible with Nuke, Nuke Studio, AVID, Adobe Premiere Pro with a working space of two 31” 4K self-calibrated EIZO ColorEdge monitors and a Wacom Cintiq Pro 32” for when hands are required to work, mostly with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Nuke. The whole system is shared by two computers: a Windows-based HP Z8 and a MacBook Pro. All computers are interconnected between them and a centralised NAS using a 10G optic fibre network

Escape Technology’s specialist sales and engineering teams worked closely with Victor throughout the project, visiting the site to install and configure the HP Z8 as needed. 

Are you setting up your own studio? Contact us today to see how we can help supply and configure the best equipment.

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