Manifatture Digitali Cinema, the infrastructures that support theatrical and audiovisual productions inaugurate new spaces and activities in Prato
The areas in the ancient Santa Caterina complex in Prato, today the headquarters of Manifatture Digitali Cinema (MDC), which have been given a new life, are being expanded. Since 2017 this infrastructure has offered support to anyone choosing Tuscany for their film set and makes available 1800 square meters of specially equipped space and 950 square meters of outdoor area. This marks the growth of a structure which involves the implementation of the activities which began with the cineport services that were integrated in 2018 by the opening of the lecture rooms for training courses and the dressmaking workshop, and in 2019 with the furnishing of the space dedicated to animation, and today, in 2021, with the opening of a multi-functional room dedicated to cinema-related teaching, a second technologically advanced dressmaking workshop, an exhibition gallery and a large outdoor courtyard.
But the new spaces are not the only new features. The health emergency has not halted the activities of Manifatture Digitali Cinema and its innovative impetus: in fact, during the first months of the lockdown, the vision was born of the Teatro Virtuale in Real time, the Campus and the Render Farm, an original design unit to be located in the Banci Area of Prato. With the collaboration of the owners, the Consiag consortium of public administrations, the project became a candidate for taking up the opportunities offered by the digital transition. The aim was to create an advanced training and audiovisual services hub in Prato that would be available to the whole country and would be dedicated to creating new collaborations with the culture industry, public administration and businesses.
The VR real time theater
The virtual reality & real time theater is an infrastructure which will permit a radical change in production processes, with benefits in terms of production times and costs, proposing essential solutions for competing on an international level. A production center for audiovisual, multimedia and virtual reality content which will make it possible to recreate hyper-realistic scenarios using 3D animation techniques.
The Campus aims to attract international expertise and prepare new professionals. It will be a preeminent training center, thanks to its specialist courses, and will be equipped with service areas, a meeting room and spaces furnished for lessons, co-working and events. It will be able to host 250 people, 200 of which will be students attending courses and doing master’s degrees of a duration of six months, a year or several years according to the characteristics and programs envisaged for the wide-ranging training offer.
The Render Farm
The Render Farm will be a computational center with the sophisticated processing necessary for production. The investment will be completed by functional spaces for the development of an H24 program which, on one hand, envisages high specialization production, technical and training activities and, on the other, supports them with areas dedicated to hospitality, catering and leisure, including initiatives for public use.
At the Manifatture Digitali Cinema in Pisa, the activities reflect the city’s vocation for knowledge and technology. 2021 began with specialization workshops in rigging and animation and is now continuing with new international productions entrusted to 40 animators hired by DogHead s.r.l, one of the most important studios in Italy.
On the subject of technological experimentation, in collaboration with the University of Pisa, MDC is also working on the Archivi Sonori (Sound Archives) and, at the same time, it is developing the “Suoni della Toscana” (Sounds of Tuscany) database with sound designer, Mirco Mencacci, collating high quality tracks and metadata with the aim of offering a new service for professionals. In July, the third edition of First Playable will be held on-line, in collaboration with IIDEA – the Italian Interactive Digital Entertainment Association. This is the first international business event dedicated to video game developers in Italy which will stream the Italian Video Game Awards ceremony from the Museo delle Navi Antiche (Museum of Ancient Ships) in Pisa.
The Manifatture Digitali Cinema network has been enhanced in order to develop the territorial locations of Pistoia and Siena as well. In fact, alongside the Manifatture Digitali of Pisa and Prato, there will also be the Pistoia office – where projects linked to the recovery, reuse and production of sets for live entertainment and cinema will soon be located, including “natural sets” in collaboration with local floricultural companies; and the Siena office, together with the Accademia Chigiana, will inaugurate a series of laboratories/workshops dedicated to the composition of music for audiovisuals and other projects connected to the music and sound production chain.