COMPUTER GENERATED FUTURE
award-winning visual effects team from the Northwest has been
singled out for praise by the Royal Television Society, and
presented with a National Royal Television Award.
Red Vision was presented with an Outstanding Achievement in Craft
Award, recognising its premier position within the UK’s Film and TV
industry. In addition, the company has been named February’s
Facility of The Month by North West Vision, the film, TV and digital
media development agency for the Northwest.
“We’re absolutely delighted with these latest accolades,”
says Dave Mousley the enigmatic Managing Director of Red Vision, who
believes the use of computer generated imagery (Cgi) in film and TV
is set to explode. “Instead of employing a cast of
thousands just to appear in the odd scene, production companies ask
facilities like Red Vision to supply computer generated characters,”
explains Dave. “It means they can apply higher resources to
the front end of their film or drama, and leave us to fill in the
So suddenly having an army of thousands marching majestically across
a battlefield, is feasible - even for low-budget features. But it’s
got to look realistic.
“Absolutely!” says Chris Lunt, Red Vision’s
Manchester-based Business Development Manager. “People want to
watch TV and film that looks the business, and that’s exactly what
we do. We can do big and epic, even on a micro budget.”
Red Vision’s animators write software, which in turn creates
characters and scenes which have captivated audiences world-wide.
Remember Granada’s Titanic: Birth of a Legend and the BBC’s
Unstoppable Wave programme about the Boxing Day tsunami? Red Vision
can claim credit for both. Whether its graphics or visual
effects, computer generated extension or removal, the operation
offers it all.
With an impressive track record of introducing Cgi to re-create
historical and natural events, Red Vision’s also had considerable
success with drama documentaries. “When the BBC asked us to
get involved with their Ancient Voices programme, Death on the Nile,
we were probably the first to use virtual characters in drama
documentary,” says Chris.
It was the first of many similar commissions, leading to a
burgeoning reputation and a raft of industry awards. It is
perhaps understandable that Red Vision was bought out by Inspired
Gaming Group Plc in June 2006, in a reported £20 million deal. But
it wasn’t just their film and TV work which attracted the attention
of Inspired. It was computer generated gaming.
“If we didn’t have the virtual gaming arm to the business,
we’d be faced with the same issues as many other UK based TV graphic
companies, and wouldn’t have the resource to plough into the
research and development that delivers the high production values
and cost savings that are the hallmark of Red Visions Cgi and visual
effects," says Dave. “The virtual gaming
division enables us to recruit and deploy a highly skilled team of
developers who produce software tools and code that has application
across both the TV and gaming areas of operation. The revenues
generated in the betting and gaming industry by our virtual gaming
products over the last 5 years, has now exceeded £4 billion, and
that gets people’s attention. It’s also enabled us to plan
strategically for the medium and long term.”
Go into any
bookmakers’ and there’ll be CGI of virtual horseracing taking place.
And there’s a high probability Red Vision created the software.
“When the Cheltenham races were cancelled in 2001 because of
foot-and-mouth disease, Channel 4 and Sky transmitted a virtual race
in its place – and they used Red Vision’s software to do it,”
says Chris proudly.
Since then, the company’s gaming arm has grown considerably, taking
in virtual greyhound racing, motor sport and football. The genre
will continue to develop. And so too will Red Vision’s Cgi plans for
film and television.
“We started out 10 years ago, and we’ve built our client base
up through sheer hard work,” says Dave, who opened a London
office 5 years ago, and a Bristol base in 2004. Within the next
month, the company will expand even further – to Canada.
Just as Red Vision made inroads in the gaming sector, so too will
they try to venture into other areas not previous explored. “We’ve
just completed some work for Oceans 13 for Warner, so we’ll continue
to do bespoke work for film and TV. But we also have other
collaborative projects of our own in development, including a film,
television drama and an animated series. We’ve got some exciting
Manchester and the
Northwest have some hugely talented production companies, and we are
always looking at ways of working with like minded people to extend
what we do and to collaborate to grow. The way I see it, what
we do is an important part of the mix, and although you might say
that using computer generated imagery is just another colour in the
palette of the producer, it’s a really important factor in
delivering high production values in many cases. Some stuff doesn’t
have computer graphics in it – but an awful lot does - and I’m
convinced that trend will continue.” said Dave.
NORTHWEST YOUNG MEDIA TALENT TO BENEFIT
teenagers interested in the media are being urged to apply to a new
multi-million pound government scheme, which aims to help them
produce creative media projects. North West Vision, the film,
TV and digital media development agency for the Northwest, is
co-ordinating Mediabox applications – which could see some groups
being awarded up to £80,000.
“This is a fantastic new fund, which is offering
13-to-19-year-olds the chance to develop and produce creative media
projects, using film, television, print, radio or online platforms,”
explains Helen Bingham, North West Vision’s Head of Production
The Mediabox initiative hopes to encourage young people across
England to access new skills, be creative, and to get their voices
heard. Disadvantaged young people from different locations,
abilities and backgrounds are being encouraged to apply for 3
different types of grants, ranging from £100 to £80,000. The
My Mediabox grant is open to individuals or groups applying for up
to £1,000 to make their project work. The Mid Mediabox grant offers
up to £20,000 for group projects, and the Big Mediabox grant will
invest up to £80,000 in youth or media focused organisations.
The Department for Education and Skills has invested £6 million in
Mediabox, which is run by First Light Movies, Media Trust, Skillset
and the UK Film Council.
“North West Vision exists to grow the film, TV and digital
media industry in our region, and so encouraging grass root young
talent to invest in and explore the industry, is an important part
of our work,” explains Helen. “I’m confident the
Mediabox project will provide numerous opportunities for Northwest
young people to develop not only their creative ideas, but also
lifelong skills in media production.”
Applications for Mediabox grants are now open, with the next round
of awards due to close March 27.
“We’re looking for a range of creative projects - from making
a film, exhibiting a project or running a festival, to attending a
media event or creating a comic. We’re open to all ideas,”
Once an application has been approved, the Mediabox team will offer
advice and guidance, and upon completion of the project,
distribution and exhibition of the work will be encouraged.
“We want all the Mediabox projects to have a lasting effect on
the young people who take part in them,” says Helen.
“Not only will the grants help young people learn more about
the media, but we’ll also be encouraging people to stay involved,
even after their proposal has finished.”
For more information about the Mediabox scheme, and to complete an
on-line application form, go to
NSPCC CALLS FOR INTERNET SAFETY
charity is calling for parents to encourage their children to
practice safe surfing as European International Safety Day clicks
into action. Today – like any other day – young people across
the region will be logging on the internet to play games, chat to
peers and socialise. The NSPCC is encouraging parents to talk with
their children about the possible dangers online.
Tracy Beresford, NSPCC children services manager for There4me.com –
an on-line information and support service for 12-16 year olds –
said:- “The internet is an amazing resource, and chat rooms
and messaging are very popular with young people. But behind the fun
lies a serious warning that you never really know who you are
talking to online. Once contact is made in a chat room, it can
escalate very quickly to a mobile phone, text messaging, and
eventually face to face contact – and this is where the danger
lies.” Tracy added:- “Just as children are
taught the Green Cross Code, they need to learn the importance of
safe internet chat.”
The NSPCC is offering parents some sound advice to give to their
children on surfing safely:-
• Never use your real name in chat rooms – pick a special online
• Never ever tell anyone personal things about yourself or your
family – like your address or telephone number or the school or
clubs you go to
• Don’t send photographs of yourself
• Remember people online might not be who they say they are
• Never respond to nasty or rude messages
• If you feel suspicious or uncomfortable about the way a
conversation is going, or it is getting really personal, stop the
conversation there and then
• Be careful with any email attachments or links that people send
you, they might contain nasty images. If they don’t know who it’s
from, definitely don’t open it.
• Avoid sites that are meant for adults.
Liverpool FC deal welcomed by city council
council is welcoming the takeover of Liverpool Football Club as a
major step forward for the regeneration of the area. The new
stadium is part of a major regeneration project for the Anfield and
Breckfield areas of north Liverpool. It includes a community
partnership centre with facilities for education, sport and
community activities, along with a fully restored Stanley Park.
Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley said:- "This is
absolutely fantastic news for the people of Anfield and Breckfield.
For too long the area has been in decline and I am hopeful that it
is now full steam ahead for this amazing project which will give
local people a much better life. The club will get a brand new
state-of-the-art stadium, Stanley Park will be restored to its
former glory with new community facilities and the area will be
completely regenerated with new homes and businesses. The
investment will create jobs and enable Anfield to capitalise on its
tourism potential as a mecca for football fans from across the
world. I look forward to meeting the new owners in the not too
distant future to discuss their vision for Liverpool FC and share
with them our hopes and aspirations for the area."
Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council, said:-
"This is very welcome news. The new Anfield scheme is
absolutely key to transforming the fortunes of north Liverpool. It
is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve Anfield and
Breckfield beyond recognition and give it a sustainable future.
We are already underway with some of the preparatory work which
needs to be carried out and will be in continued discussions with
the club as the project moves forward."
The existing stadium will be redeveloped to become Anfield Plaza,
with retail, offices, residential, community and hotel uses, plus
new public open space. The overall cost of the 1st phase of
the project will be £215 million, of which £26 million will come
from the public sector. It's estimated that the project will
create 766 permanent jobs, 260 construction jobs, boost tourism
numbers by nearly half a million visitors a year and increase
visitor spending by £18m a year. The new stadium is due to
open at the start of the 2009/10 Premiership season.