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U.K.’s National Film and TV School to Offer “Industry First” Virtual Production Course

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 10/8/2021 Alex Ritman

Buoyed by its hugely successful use in the making of Disney+’s hit seriesThe Mandalorian and growing deployment in studios worldwide, virtual production will soon be offered as a course at one of the world’s most prestigious filmmaking colleges.

In what it claims to be an “industry first,” The U.K.’s National Film and Television School, in partnership with WarnerMedia, WarnerMedia Access and StoryFutures Academy, is set to launch a new six-month, part-time certificate course in virtual production.

Participants will be introduced to the core technical and filmmaking required to work on virtual production projects driven by Unreal Engine, with the course aimed at creatives from varied technical and creative backgrounds, including games, VFX, 3D animation, graphic design and those from camera department backgrounds.

The first intake of the 24-week certificate will start at the end of January 2022 with an application deadline of Nov. 27. Made up of six modules, the course will be delivered via weekly online seminars, with six face-to-face weekend workshops taking place at the NFTX in Beaconsfield, optimizing its newly installed virtual production LED Stage.

As part of efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusion within the industry, scholarship funding will be made available, with WarnerMedia and WarnerMedia Access underwriting 75 percent of the course fee. Additionally, the school will provide further financial assistance to successful applicants from diverse groups who may require the hardware or software upgrades, while travel grants will also be made available.

“Virtual Production is quickly transforming the art and craft of filmmaking,” said NFTS director Jon Wardle. “As demand for skills in the VP landscape accelerates, being at the forefront of launching this innovative new course means we can equip creatives with the toolbox to understand how this exciting new leap in technology can help build and progress their career.”

Added Karen Horne, WarnerMedia’s senior vp equity and inclusion: “The Virtual Production Certificate program is a wonderful addition to our talent activation initiatives at WarnerMedia Access. The skills and technology that the students are learning represent the future of production, and we are proud to partner with NFTS and to be leading the way with an inclusive lens.”

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