288 miles. That’s the distance between the UK’s first network of Advanced Media Production studios - one in Dock Street, London and the other in Gateshead, North East England.
Launched on Wednesday 20th September to live audiences in each studio, as well as online viewers, the event featured an immersive performance from the Alexander Whitley Dance Company in a full virtual production stage with LED volume solutions interconnected with both studios.
The performance, which incorporates the use of virtual camera systems and custom software, that allowed the performer's characters to be mixed in real-time, explored how dance can exist in a duality of live and digital form. With lighting provided by Copper Candle, the performance delved into the limitless ways in which human movement can be visualised through the use of motion capture and games engines.
Developed by Target3D and Digital Catapult and funded by Innovate UK, our new venture marks a massive step forward for the position of the UK as a global leader in next-generation content creation, research, and innovation.
Alex Cook, Head of Immersive Programmes at PROTO in Gateshead hit the nail on the head when he said: “It’s an exciting time for the industry and investment in the sector. It can mean something really great to all of us.”
Running uncompressed NDI and motion tracking data over our 10GB inter-connected link, the launch event ran seamlessly between the two sites, highlighting the new ability for collaborators across the UK to work together virtually on productions, using this technology simultaneously.
Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult shared his thoughts about the “extraordinary” launch, conceding that although virtual production is no longer a “hip, trendy new thing,” and is now “acknowledged and respected”, still only 10% of film and media use the tech. He reinforced how much research and development has gone into the AMP project by each collaborator to give the industry what it needs: “We are helping the UK to be creatively competitive. These studios are laying the foundations for the future of the industry.”
At the launch, award-winning singer, songwriter and self-proclaimed technophile Imogen Heap shared her thoughts on the use of AMP to enable a better flow when creating music and producing content: “The technology helps to simplify processes to make things better and easier for people.”
Also in attendance was Megaverse, whose team created #GameChangers, a live interactive digital game exploring climate action through Advanced Media Production. They shared that the immersive experience of the game, assisted by AMP, had led its audience to want to take real-world actions for the climate crisis.
Our Founder and Managing Director Allan Rankin said: “The Advanced Media Production launch is a new dawn, where the ever closer merger of the digital and the real world means new exciting outputs, from new techniques and skills, for ever-expanding mediums and discerning consumers of content.”
“How to make better, make faster, make smarter, make with lower impact is a continuous puzzle to be solved.”
The Advanced Media Production studios and capabilities will offer unparalleled opportunities for creativity, innovation, and collaboration for content creators, digital agencies, filmmakers, games developers, universities, skills providers and production studios.
With access to LED volumes, GPUs and rendering computing power, 360 live-action filming facilities, photogrammetry and 4D stages, the launch of the Advanced Media Production studios establishes the UK as a global hub for next-generation production.
We’re marking a new era of entertainment and media production in the UK. If you’re interested in becoming part of the absolutely transformative Advanced Media Production Studio network or have an R&D collaboration or project in mind, please get in touch.
As Actor and Director, Daymon Britton said at the AMP launch: “The only limit is our own imagination”.