Back to the Future for Creating Ground-Breaking Content
If you think that anything in Dubai cannot surprise you anymore, be forewarned. ASCIRA’s cutting-edge, state-of-the-art recording and broadcasting studio is sure to blow your mind.
Walking into the ASCIRA Studio you see a modern reception desk, comfortable lounge area and an elegant conference room with two big TVs on the wall.
As the double door opens, with a snazzy ON AIR sign beaming above, a lighting tunnel leads you into the main studio area.
Stepping into the futuristic studio, you are transported to an inviting ambiance with fancy energetic light shows, which radiates positivity and makes you say WOW!
The studio has a sleek black finish with multi-coloured LED lights lining the walls, which can be used to play different shows and create various moods.
Four sets grace the studio, each serving a specific function. In the left hand corner, a comfortable white couch offers the perfect nook for a friendly chat over coffee. For more serious presentations and news broadcasts, there is a typical newsroom set up in the right corner. Further up is a four seater panel setting, suitable for discussions and debates. A two-chair setting has been made for those intimate interviews, photo shoots and social media moments. The decorative lights make the studio look like a movie set.
The wardrobe and makeup room is something right off a Hollywood set, replete with all the accessories needed to prep candidates before a shoot. The eye-catcher is definitely the lighted up mirror.
The studio boasts of three 12k resolution cameras which are the highest resolution cameras in the world. ASCIRA is the first in the Middle East, and among ten in the world, to have these exquisite cameras which can be used even to shoot feature films. Seven remote control cameras are fixed in different positions to get varied wide range and close-up shots of any individual or aspect during the filming process.
The lighting system, with 70 different lights mixed with 200 LED strips, is worthy of any huge event-based production and can accommodate any type of filming inside the studio. At a push of a button, it also gives the ability to make presets for different styles of filming.
The editing and control room has a window out into the studio where every aspect of the program inside the room can be controlled. Mobile phone applications also can be used to adjust lighting and cameras from within the sound stage, making this futuristic studio virtually automatic.
Curtis Randall , Executive Creative Director of ASCIRA has one word to describe the studio: “Exquisite”
“We use film crews around the world, in various countries, filming in different languages. Due to COVID restrictions, we cannot travel as freely as in 2019. So, it is more efficient to have filming crews located close to the teachers and educators for our academy. Our studio has been setup with a workflow that makes things very adaptable to the situation and can adjust quickly with the changing events across the globe. The technology allows us to have content filmed and uploaded to our servers, from anywhere in the world. We can collaborate with multilingual editors and content creators worldwide, giving us a broad range of unique educators and trainers within our Academy. This workflow allows us to continue expanding our content, regardless of lock downs and travel restrictions enforced around the world” he explains.
Curtis comes with an impressive background of experience. He has been a digital content advisor for the National Film Board of Canada and Teletoon. He has also worked with the reputed Pinewood Studios in London, home of Harry Potter, James Bond, and Batman. Closer to home, he created videos for presales promotions for the Burj Khalifa, King Abdullah Economic City and many other Middle East development projects.
Touted to be the first 12K studio in the Middle East, Curtis is confident that ASCIRA can pave the way for creating ground-breaking content for the whole world. He is planning to implement a virtual camera system in the studio, with robotic cameras which can track all the camera motions and provide virtual set replacement, giving the studio the flexibility to change the space and film on a larger scale. Implementing 3D animation technologies will make this studio one of the top facilities in the world.
Since commencing operations in Dec 2020, the studio has already completed 60 different projects. Once it becomes completely operational, the schedule is for multiple TV shows and continuous content creation for the Academy.
“This will be one big stage for promoting talent and technology. We are building a system where we can utilize 3D sets that can expand the creative aspects of the environment so we can actually put people in an environment that is completely different than where they are. The creativity is endless,’ he gushes with unabashed pride. ‘To cut the long story short, it is a very, futuristic, functional, yet inviting and desirable place for providing world class quality content.”
For Chief Operating Officer Belynda Lee, the studio is a hub to communicate and provide purpose to billions of laptops and mobile devices around the world. Belynda is in the process of envisioning her own talk show involving Women in Business which will cover all facets of a woman’s professional and personal lives.
Having a state-of-the-art filming studio to facilitate her show, is a dream come true. “I have always wanted a platform where I can share real-life stories and tips around the world to help people grow in areas of the home, relationships, and work. For a woman, everything is business, whether you are working, shopping, parenting, or even just hanging out with friends.”
When John Sachtouras, Founder CEO of ASCIRA, came to Dubai back in the early 2000s, he found out that city aimed to be a happy place. This resonated well with his own vision and he planned to build something amazing here. “When you look around the world, Dubai has transformed from a nondescript desert to the city of the future, in a short span of 60 years”
Other factors that influenced his decision for choosing Dubai include the strategic location from Asia, Europe, and Africa, which covers around two-thirds of the population. Apart from this, Dubai is exceptionally clean, safe, organized, futuristic, and offers great ease in doing business.
“All people want is a better life and we want to connect them with professional content providers, speakers, authors, motivational speakers and experts who can educate and train people on how to attain that life. On the other hand, there are many professional speakers who do not know how to brand and position themselves globally. Why not connect the two?” says John.
The future of the online education of ASCIRA is promising and will open up a new horizon of education to a larger section of the organization around the world. And what better way to send this message than from the most futuristic place on the planet?
“The value of the content will be increasing constantly as we are in the industry of Evolution and Growth. At ASCIRA we are equipped with virtual and augmented reality facilities to share the treasure of knowledge with the world. Our mission is to empower and inspire a billion people to get to know their true selves, learn how to better connect with other people and how to improve their quality of life. We want to be the symbol of bringing people together,” he concludes.