State-of-the-Art Facility Rounds Out Media and Production Ecosystem at the Brooklyn Site and Establishes NYU Tisch as a Global Leader in Developing the Next Generation of Talent

NYU Tisch School of the Arts has selected Industry City for the Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center. The new center will provide NYU Tisch students and faculty with best-in-class production facilities in a unique setting for collaboration and internships at some of New York’s leading film and media companies.

The center was made possible by a major gift announced in 2021 from the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation, led by Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments, and filmmaker George Lucas. The donation established the Martin Scorsese Institute of Global Cinematic Arts, which includes the Virtual Production Center, the Martin Scorsese Department of Cinema Studies, and support for student scholarships. The gift is the largest in the Tisch School’s history.

The 45,586-square-foot facility will be housed on the top floor of Building 8 at Industry City, the 35-acre innovation campus on the Brooklyn waterfront. It will feature two 3,500-square-foot double-height, column-free stages, two 1,800-square-foot television studios, state-of-the-art broadcast and control rooms, dressing rooms and makeup areas, a lounge and bistro, scene workshops, offices, and training spaces. The center joins The Veterans Future Lab, NYU’s business incubator for members of the military that opened at Industry City in 2017.

Martin Scorsese (Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.)

“We remain so grateful to the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation for the visionary and transformative gift honoring Martin Scorsese. The foundation’s generosity has allowed us to begin building the Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center, a place where our filmmakers, actors, dancers, and designers will push forward the boundaries of storytelling,” Allyson Green, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts, said. “We feel very fortunate to be joining the innovative community of makers and creators within Industry City. The partnerships we forge, along with the inspiring legacy of Martin Scorsese, will make it possible for the Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center to become a place that fuels the development of new and exciting talent in all areas of the cinematic arts for NYU Tisch students and for the New York City film industry at large.”

Widely considered one of the greatest American filmmakers, Scorsese earned two degrees from NYU: a bachelor’s degree in 1964 and a master’s in 1968. He received an Honorary Degree in 1992 and is a member of the Tisch School of the Arts Dean’s Council.

Opening in 2024, the state-of-the-art Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center will offer hands-on training in the latest production techniques. One of the first facilities of its kind on the East Coast, it will further establish NYU Tisch as a global leader in cinematic arts training by pioneering new technology and expanding training and collaborative opportunities in the performing arts and design.

Virtual production encompasses a range of technologies that are transforming the art and craft of filmmaking. Using game engine software, graphics cards, camera tracking, and AR and VR, it allows actors and directors to work in a virtual environment to create visual effects in real time, rather than in post-production. Actors can respond naturally to their surroundings and directors can plan out scenes and shots with precision, visualizing the final product in-camera. Virtual production reduces post-production costs and the need to film on location, making projects more sustainable.

“NYU has been a key member of the Industry City tenant community for five years  and has been an incredible partner throughout the evolution of the campus,” said Glen Siegel, Managing Partner at Industry City (Belvedere Capital). “The addition of the Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center is the next chapter in this evolution, enabling students to learn and train alongside experts in their field and allowing IC businesses to shape their future workforce through mentorship, internships, and employment opportunities.”

Home to more than 70 film and media-related businesses, Industry City supports every facet of the production lifecycle. The tenant roster features multiple equipment suppliers, content creators, production companies, lighting experts, set design houses, livestreaming service providers, and content distributors. The 16-building campus offers students opportunities for networking, employment, and collaboration at companies including AbelCine, Buck Media, Lux Lighting, The Garage, and Conde Nast.

“Congratulations to NYU Tisch School of the Arts on the establishment of the Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center, the first of its kind on the East Coast, cementing NYC’s role as the premier center for cinema studies and film production,” said NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo. “We are thrilled with this exciting addition to the Industry City campus, which is a fast-growing hub for creativity and innovation.”

About the NYU Tisch School of the Arts
For over 50 years, the NYU Tisch School of the Arts has drawn on the vast artistic and cultural resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for artists, scholars, and innovators. Today, students learn their craft in a spirited, risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a premier global university with campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and 11 academic centers around the world. Learn more at www.tisch.nyu.edu.

Gabriel Mays

AbelCine Director of Rental
As Director of Rental, Gabriel Mays oversees growth of Rental by nurturing business relationships and unifying the customer experience nationwide. In his previous role as the LA Rental Manager, Gabriel worked with producers, cinematographers, and assistant camera operators to provide the highest level of customer service possible. He also ensured that all their equipment needs are met on budget. Before coming to AbelCine in 2015, Gabriel previously worked as a Communications Instructor and Electronic Media Engineer at a private university. He taught various courses in electronic media, including film, broadcasting, and digital arts. Gabriel is an award-winning cinematographer, director, producer, and editor known for his innovative research and implementation of new film techniques. He was also one of the first to implement HDSLR cameras into filmmaking. He has been the cinematographer on dozens of independent films, documentaries, and music videos.