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Big Green Structure Arrives at WESST Enterprise Center

Comcast Digital Media Studio at WESST

What’s 16’ tall, green, smooth and techy, and whose name reminds you of your therapist? It’s a cyc wall, known in the film and advertising communities as a cyclorama wall. And what good is that you ask? The easiest explanation is to use your local TV weather forecaster as an example.

Each day, you will see a weather forecast with the reporter gesturing in front of a map that they seem to be standing in front of. (For your picky grammarians, sorry about ending the sentence in a preposition.) The map is a computer generated image and the forecaster is really standing in front of a green wall. No, really! The forecaster is really looking at a television monitor that shows both himself and the map merged by a computer. The technology allows a computer to remove that specific green color and replace it with another image. In film, one of the best examples of comparable technology is the classic movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It was impossible to find the dividing line between animation and live actors.

Of the estimated 1250 business incubators in the U.S., fewer than half a dozen have a comparable facility. And the cyclorama part simply means there are no edges or corners to create shadows that would interfere with the image inserted by the computer. The actor could literally be walking in front of an image of a Pacific Ocean beach and you wouldn’t know it’s being shot in front of a green screen cyclorama wall in a studio.

The studio currently under construction will be called the Comcast Digital Media Studio. We originally designed the room in the overall plan of the WESST Enterprise Center building to support startup companies trying to get their big break in the film industry. During the last 3 years, we have worked with community leaders within the film and advertising industries to determine the highest and best use of this facility as it would support their needs. As a result of that study, we have designed the studio as:

  • A studio to create e-learning, business content focused on the entrepreneur in both New Mexico and throughout the U.S.
  • Green screen cyclorama to be used by the film and video game industries
  • A facility for live, interactive streaming of education and business-related content
  • A project to provide collaboration opportunities among WESST and UNM and CNM and other New Mexico institutions of higher learning
  • A professional recording facility for use by marketing and advertising agencies
  • A small film studio with quality computer editing, audio and projection equipment

We believe the studio is a much anticipated addition to the resources available for film makers, educators, and advertisers. We especially look forward to presenting live, streaming WESST business training classes to rural New Mexico entrepreneurs and to classes assembled in our 5 regional WESST offices.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say a big THANK YOU to our funders for making this possible. Playing an especially important role are the federal Economic Development Administration, the State of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, and many New Mexico businesses and individuals who have been generous in supporting WESST’s business mentoring programs.