Screen industry-led UK skills body ScreenSkills is to develop national training standards for virtual production roles in an effort to establish the UK as a global leader in the space.
The move, which was announced at a Department for International Trade (DIT) mission on the future of filmmaking in the UK, received backing from the DIT and UK government’s department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS).
Alex Hope, former joint-MD of the VFX studio DNEG and ScreenSkills’ vice-chair, will lead a steering group, to be supported by working groups, that is being established by the skills body to agree and share standards across industry and academia. The aim is to ensure the UK has all the expertise needed to maintain its status as a world-renowned centre for production.
Sky Studios, Epic Games, UK Screen Alliance and UK Research and Innovation are among the industry representatives who have already committed to the initiative, with educators such as Bournemouth and Edinburgh Napier Universities also contributing their expertise.
ScreenSkills commented that the adoptions of tech such as real-time engines already used widely in games by productions such as Match Of The Day and The Mandalorian “opens up new creative opportunities for production as well as the potential to improve environmental sustainability.”
“Virtual production relies on the latest technology and innovative talent to bring exciting new possibilities to life on our screens,” commented UK minister for creative industries Caroline Dinenage. “Developing our world class screen workforce will help the UK’s film and TV sectors build back better.”
“As with developments in any new tech, it is critical to have national standards because we need a highly professional virtual production workforce, supported by high-quality training provision which is based on a common understanding of the skills needed.,” added ScreenSkills CEO Seetha Kumar.