You’re a filmmaker, band, special effects producer, VR game designer, vlogger, or rapper looking to rent a soundstage, green screen, or recording studio for your project. Many creative and artistic people know what they want their finished product to look like and are thinking of going to a media studio to get it perfect. What you need to determine is what you need, what it will cost, and how you can get help with your project. Having seen what people go through in their searches, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be. Although I work at Sun Studios in Arizona and will be focusing on that facility in this article, it is important that you do your research and choose a location that best suits your needs. Because in the end, making your project all it can be is the most important reason to choose a great studio.
As many people learn, usually the hard way! – can be frustrating unless you do your research on the facility you want to use. Sun Studios of Arizona in Tempe can provide you with information you can use in your search for the perfect media facility. We always want to make sure you have everything you need and people who know what they are doing to help you. We may or may not be your final choice, but we want to make sure the choice is an informed one.
Here is information about the different workspaces in our facilities, to give you a good idea of what to expect:
Rent a sound stage
In many installations, when renting a soundstage, you will be asked to pay an hourly rate and then be given a menu of “a la carte items” that you will need for your production or event. Options may include a studio director, lights, sound, equipment, tripods, monitors, teleprompters, consumables, electricity, and Wi-Fi. In the end, after choosing all the options, it can cost up to $3,000 a day to use that soundstage.
We like to make things easy for our clients. Our price is a flat rate, either half day or full day rates. Our Sound Stage 1 at Sun Studios of Arizona is 2,500 square feet of acoustically treated space, with baffle climate control, two 3-phase 200-amp power stations, a 16′ light grid, and most of the equipment you need is included. at a flat rate. It’s a good-sized space that includes many things that other studios charge extra for, including a stage manager to help you with every facet of your project.
Do you need a green screen rental?
Green screens are a staple of the digital media industry and are in high demand. They allow the production to shoot in a stable environment, then easily add a separately shot background in post-production; basically, they take the subject out of the real world and place it on a digital background. Music video channels and video blogs (vlog) particularly use green screens for many of their projects.
Soundstages with green screens can be expensive, beyond a regular soundstage, because instead of simple walls, green screen requires a variety of special lighting to enhance luminance. Pricing at many studios, again, is piecemeal, with an hourly rate followed by options, including that special lighting (skylights, filters, effect boards, and much more), which will add extra costs and can make your total projected rent lower. on green screen reaches $3,000 or more for a day of filming.
Here at Sun Studios of Arizona, we prefer to offer a flat rate. The cost of a green screen soundstage includes everything you need to make your production perfect, including a studio manager and most of the consumables mentioned in soundstage 1 above. We also have an additional option for use with our green screen sound stage: a 20 camera motion tracking capture system. This system allows for the capture of 3D models of the actors’ contours and movements frame by frame, which can then be animated in post (King Kong and The Lord of the Rings are good examples of this). Motion capture is also used in the creation of video game avatars.
Rent an audio recording studio
Always check what equipment is available for your specific needs before committing to a studio. You want to make sure your recording requirements are met, be it audio, dubbing, ADR and/or scoring. Some items typically used for recording may not be included in the starting price at certain studios: mixing room, drum room, instrument/vocal/foley sound room, mixers, microphones, equalizers, foley snare and more . Studio prices are set as an hourly rate and generally do not include a sound engineer, except as an option (plus money). If you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, it pays to have a professional sound engineer there to help you make your project sound perfect.
At Sun Studios of Arizona, our audio recording studio is top of the line, with a list of equipment too long to list in the limited space of this article. Your project will be in good hands with our professional and experienced sound engineer included in our rates. The recording studio is priced by the hour, with discounts available for half days and full days. And again, there are no hidden fees – everything is included, meeting your audio recording needs under one roof.
Many digital media projects may require a shortlist for the crew, or even a premiere for the cast/crew and fans. Many studios do not typically have a theater, and the media team may have to “four walls” in a commercial theater to see their finished products. Which means renting a theater and making sure their system can accommodate your media (video, DVD, BluRay, computer, movies, etc.). The costs of the four walls can be very high, depending on the day of the week that you want to screen your project.
But why not create your project and project it in the same building? You can do just that at Sun Studios of Arizona. Our auditorium/theater seats over 150 with staggered seating in comfortable padded seats, a 24 foot screen, and 5.2 digital surround sound. We even have a cool retro marquee that can display the name of your project, all lit up to give you a premiere worth talking about. The price always includes a technician who takes care of projection and sound, and it is very reasonable.
Renting a studio space can be daunting, but it’s less so if you know exactly what you want and have a budget to match. Don’t be fooled by ads showing ridiculously low hourly rates before you check to see exactly what you’re getting. Generally, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Make sure you have not only the space you want, but also the equipment you need, the staff to help you, and all the support you’ll appreciate in the long run. Find a space that you can call home, because creating a project is an exercise in determination and love, an experience that you want to be perfect. Keeping that in mind when renting a studio space will help make it a simpler and more enjoyable experience from start to finish.
The author has been involved in the entertainment industry for over 20 years and will be happy to let you pick her brain all you want!