Clwstwr Co-Investigator Rich Hurford on games technology revolutionising film and TV production.

Within the first Clwstwr cohort of funded projects one of the strong themes that has emerged is that of a cross-over between film and TV and the games industries - mixing the processes, craft, technology and storytelling of both, to create some fascinating results.

As a Clwstwr Co-Investigator I have had the privilege of working closely with several of the projects and seeing first-hand the impact the R&D is having. 

Several projects explore how to use games technology to improve the way that film and TV is made. These range from real-time pipelines for 3D animation, on-set real-time VFX, using VR tools for previs and the use of ambisonic (360°) audio.

Others Clwstwr projects are using interactive storytelling techniques to create deeper and more engaging experiences for viewers/users, which include games for mental health awareness/training, hybrid storytelling, pain relief using VR, immersive technology as part of live performance and interactive documentary, film and storytelling.

This is likely to be a key area for future development with the Welsh screen industry being well positioned to take advantage of these new technologies.

This has been exemplified in the production of the recent BBC/HBO series His Dark Materials filmed largely in Wales by Bad Wolf Studios with previs, production design and VRX direction by Painting Practice using virtual production techniques built by their team in Cardiff, with many of the team being graduates of the Film & TV School Wales at University of South Wales.

Another local project which is exploring immersive storytelling is Audience of the Future Demonstrator which is looking at how to tell immersive interactive stories using a range of technologies, some traditional and others cutting edge to create a compelling blended experience.

University of South Wales held a masterclass for students for Cardiff’s three universities called Screen Futures on Wednesday, 5 February. During the Screen Futures event several Clwstwr projects discussed their work to date: Painting Practice, Cloth Cat AnimationMartha Stone Productions and Gorilla.