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Our media facilities: producing excellence

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If you’re interested in media or film production, and getting hands-on with the latest technology, look no further than the University of Sunderland.

Based at the David Puttnam Media Centre at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus, St Peter’s, you’ll be able to take advantage of our fantastic media facilities. In addition to our established equipment, you’ll have access to new and upgraded facilities, including our 4K-UHD virtual studio, broadcast standard HD TV studio, and our refreshed Spark Sunderland radio studio.

Read on to find out more about our media production facilities:

Virtual Production Studio

Our 4K-UHD virtual studio is an exciting new facility that will bring your creative ideas to life. The £300k investment in Real Time Virtual Production includes a Mo-Sys camera tracking unit (which can be used with our Blackmagic cameras), handheld Viewfinder and fully refreshed Chroma Wall. Using Unreal Engine, you’ll be able to create immersive virtual worlds and scenes, and will be able to film real-world actors within them. This type of cutting-edge technology can be seen on Disney’s ‘The Mandalorian’, and more recently at the BBC coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We’ve also invested in new LED studio lights to complement our new kit and make our studio more environmentally friendly.

A person standing in front of a 4K camera in the chroma studio

TV Studio

Next door to our new Virtual Production Studio, you’ll find the TV Studio, which has had a recent investment. This broadcast-standard HD TV studio has a 10m by 3.5m LED Volume, with real-time virtual production and camera tracking, and a lighting system identical to those used at Pinewood Studios, so you’ll have access to industry-standard equipment from day one. You’ll experiment with multi-camera recordings, TV studio lighting, and sound recording to create, write and produce your own films and television shows. The sound and video gallery, which is connected to the TV studio, is where you’ll gain experience in every aspect of off-camera roles in TV production. This includes vison mixing, auto-cue, sound mixing, producing and directing.

A film production lecturer stood in front of cameras demonstrating the facilities in the Virtual Production studio

Students working in the TV studio gallery, watching the Virtual Production studio on screens

Editing rooms

Post-production, you can edit your films and TV shows using our editing rooms. In our colour grading room, you can create the stylistic look for your project, and in the sound production room, you can use Pro Tools to mix your sound track and audio dialogue in surround sound.

Fulwell North

Get direct experience and insight into a leading production company and how it operates. Acclaimed independent production company Fulwell 73 – makers of Netflix show ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’ – recently launched a new regional office in our David Puttnam Media Centre. Fulwell North will be the base for the company’s activities in the North. It will focus on developing new programming, nurturing local talent and discovering new creators from diverse backgrounds on and off screen. Fulwell 73’s new location aims to help address the skills gap for those starting out in the industry and to attract talent back to the region who have roots there.

Spark Sunderland

Budding radio DJs and producers can get involved with Sunderland’s community radio station, Spark Sunderland. In summer 2021, Spark’s Studio 5 got a makeover worth £85,000. New equipment includes:

  • Lawo Crystal 12 channel digital mixing desk, with touch screens to control the RCS Zetta playout software.
  • CallerOne, a digital call handling software for talk shows.
  • CameraOne, software control for video recording and/or streaming. This controls four Panasonic 4K PTZ cameras, allowing appearances to be streamed live or recorded for later uploading to the Spark website.
  • A custom designed desk allowing clear sight lines between guests and presenters, offering easy access to all controls without obstructing camera views. The bespoke desk is electrically adjustable, allowing the height to varied at the push of a button to permit wheelchair access or to allow DJs to present standing up.

Find out more

See our facilities for yourself – register for our next Open Day, or book a campus tour, where you’ll be shown around by a student ambassador or a member of our friendly student recruitment team. Can’t make it on campus? Check out our Virtual Open Day.

Published: 20 February 2023