Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today launched a new £1.6million virtual production studio at the University of Ulster.
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons (centre) with Fiona McLaughlin, co-founder of Taunt Studios and Professor Frank Lyons, acting executive dean of arts, humanities and social sciences at UU.
The state-of-the-art facility is backed by over £536,000 in funding through the Department of Economics and will provide screen industry skills education to students at the university.
Speaking after touring the studio at Ulster University’s Belfast campus, the Minister said:
“I am delighted to launch the Ulster Virtual Production Studio at Ulster University. This new facility, supported by my department, will provide teaching and learning spaces for students in fields related to the display industry and further strengthen the skills pipeline in this dynamic and growing sector.
“Students will have access to state-of-the-art production and visual effects facilities not available anywhere else in Northern Ireland or the Ivory Republic. I am also delighted that the university is facilitating opportunities for collaboration with the screen industry on some of the live productions made here in Northern Ireland.
The Minister added:
“The Virtual Production Studio is a high quality addition to Ulster University’s offering, responding to the changing skills landscape and aligning well with my department’s 10X economic vision for a decade of ‘innovation.”
The Minister was given a tour of the virtual production studio by UU Acting Executive Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Frank Lyons, who commented:
“With the screen industries continuing to grow in Northern Ireland, it is important that we have a pool of graduates with the skills and knowledge to specialize in production and research and development led by creativity and technology.
“We are responding to industry reports that there is a skills shortage in virtual production. We prioritize teaching and research using state-of-the-art technology supported by expert multinational companies to ensure our students graduate with the creative, technical and professional skills and knowledge to work on film sets. and television locally and lead the way in games and animation, nationally and internationally, to advance the creative industries.
“With the introduction of the Ulster Screen Academy and the Virtual Production Studio at Ulster University, we are driving a skills revolution in production pipelines across converging sectors with applications across film, broadcasting, advertising, animation, games, immersion and visual effects.”
During his visit, the Minister met with Fiona McLaughlin, founding co-director of Taunt Studios, who recently used virtual production studios to create a short film.
“It was an amazing opportunity to be one of the first companies to shoot in Ulster University’s virtual production facilities. As an independent animation studio, we’ve spent the past few years working with real-time technologies and a growing VFX pipeline, which puts us in an excellent position to utilize virtual production techniques. To explore this emerging area of cinema, we have teamed up with director duo JAK and specialists from Ulster University Screen Academy to create the short film ‘A Thing Called Joy’. The results have been outstanding, and it will certainly be the start of a whole new toolkit for visual effects and filmmaking.”
More information about Ulster University Screen Academy can be found at: UU website
Notes to Editors:
1. The Ulster Virtual Production Studio is supported by £425,000 from the Higher Education Research Investment Fund, an investment fund managed by the DfE and jointly funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the DfE. The DfE also provided an additional £111,759 of higher education capital funding for the project.
3. To keep up to date with Department news, you can follow us on the following social networks:
Facebook – @EconomyNI
LinkedIn– NI Department of Economics
4. For media enquiries, contact the Department of Economics Press Office at [email protected]
5. The Executive Information Service runs an after-hours service for media inquiries only between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Monday to Friday and on weekends and public holidays. The permanent press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
Share this page