CJ ENM’s Paju Studio

“Screen everywhere”…When I went to CJ ENM’s Paju Studio Center

Construction with Korea's largest production infrastructure for two years
13 indoor and outdoor studios, virtual reality 'Beyond space and time'

As I entered a huge studio space surrounded by screens on all sides and ceilings, a foggy snow mountain unfolded in front of me. For a while, the screen suddenly changed, and this time, it changed to a high-rise forest in New York.

This is a virtual reality production (VP) prepared by CJ ENM inside the studio center in Paju, Gyeonggi-do. In this space, where both 360 degrees of wall and ceiling are decorated with large LED screens, various backgrounds necessary for filming videos are implemented on LED screens. You can produce content freely without time and space constraints.

CJ ENM opened the CJ ENM Studio Center to the media on the 5th and introduced the site directly. It was the moment when the CJ ENM Studio Center, which has the largest production infrastructure in Korea, finally unveiled after more than two years of construction.

Combined state-of-the-art Opstar Studio Complex with the nation’s largest infrastructure

CJ ENM’s Studio Center is a state-of-the-art complex Opstar (오피스타) studio complex built on an area of about 211,200㎡. It has a total of 13 studios, including an Opstar studio of about 210,000 square meters, the largest in Korea, and a “VP (Virtual Production) Stage” equipped with Samsung Electronics’ “The Wall.” It was completed in April after about two years of construction.

The CJ ENM Studio Center is optimized for content production as indoor studios, outdoor open sets, and virtual production facilities are gathered in one place. A total of 13 indoor studios are producing six contents, including “Marriage,” “Little Women,” and “Joseon Psychiatrist Campaign.”

Among them, Stage 5 is the largest drama studio in Korea, with a large area of about 210,000 square meters as well as a height of 23 meters, which can be used for movies and performances. Earlier, CJ ENM hosted the global music awards ceremony “MAMA” at Stage 5 at the end of last year.

With a width of 20m and a length of 280m, it has also created a large open set of 49,500㎡ that can shoot various outdoor scenes with “Multi Road,” a multipurpose road that can shoot various vehicle scenes, natural production areas, and flat land. The company explained that this will enable one-stop production of indoor studios and outdoor open sets at the same time.

According to CJ ENM, the studio center can produce 20 dramas (12 S-class dramas) a year. For this reason, it is still only used to produce Studio Dragon, an affiliate. However, it plans to consider opening it to the outside when there is room by securing additional sites in the future.

CJ ENM Studio Center will shine as a state-of-the-art K-content outpost through the perfect combination of technology and creativity, said Kim Sang-yeop, head of CJ ENM’s Content R&D Center.

Opstar Studios with state-of-the-art micro LED walls

The Opstar Stage is a virtual studio with 360 degrees of wall and a large LED screen
It is a state-of-the-art facility that implements various backgrounds necessary for filming video on LED screens. The VP Stage has two micro LED walls, a main LED wall with an oval structure of 20m in diameter and 7.3m in height, and a straight wall of 20m and 3.6m in height. Micro LEDs are recognized as the most complete display among LEDs released so far.

“The method of actors acting in front of the green screen (chroma key) and then synthesizing the background to obtain the final video is often used, but since the content is played without a background, actors and producers have to rely on imagination to act or film,” said Kim.

The LED wall built on the Opstar Stage can also be implemented much easier in overseas locations or places where filming is difficult spatially by establishing a production environment that transcends time and space. Physical sets that require repeated installation or demolition can be minimized, and the time required for later operations can be significantly reduced. This is why many companies in Korea as well as global companies such as Netflix and Disney have made full investments in virtual production.

The Opstar Stage will be used for various purposes such as entertainment and performances as well as movies and dramas in the future. Visual production using state-of-the-art realistic technologies such as immersive XR stage and metaverse is possible, so it is possible to produce more evolved content. It is also expected that exclusive content will be created that will only film with virtual production.

An official from CJ ENM said, “We expect the cultural content industry to develop once again through the CJ ENM Studio Center,” adding, “We will make it a mecca for the birth of K content by establishing a well-made IP mass-production system that will cause syndrome on the global stage.”