Re-think the use of stereoscopic 3D and VFX for independent cinema

In today’s film industry, the use of new film technologies such as VFX, computer-generated images and Stereo 3D is primarily reserved for high-budget film productions. The Cross Channel Film Lab aims at encouraging low-budget, independent feature films to use such tools.

Pablo Agüero, réalisateur, en train de filmer dans un nuage de fumée
The Cross Channel Film Lab is a European centre of excellence in the field of new digital imaging for independent films. It focuses on Stereo 3D, VFX (visual effects) and adapting scriptwriting to these technological advances. The Cross Channel Film Lab aims at making these resources available to low-budget films — the future’s most imaginative branch of European film production.

The Cross Channel Film Lab brings together the skills and expertise of eleven partners across
France and the United Kingdom. The Lab also works with partners from the film industry and the R&D sector (universities, research groups, start-up companies).

Making new technologies easily accessible to low-budget independent films

Le Groupe Ouest and Cross Channel Film Lab partners’ approach is based on one premise: having writer-directors, new imaging technologies experts, and creative technicians work together from the very first stages of script development. This approach allows for greater cost-efficiency from the get go when producing films, while simultaneously building a new generation of European independent films.

Through the Cross Channel Film Lab initiative, low-budget film projects are given the unique opportunity to develop their scripts and production strategies with the help of an applied research program dedicated to Stereo 3D, VFX and computer-generated images.

A powerful storytelling adapted to stereo 3D and VFX

The Cross Channel Film Lab supports the development of feature film projects. These projects integrate the use of VFX and/or Stereo 3D for less than five million euros.

Scriptwriters, directors and producers work on the development of their projects alongside a team of French and English experts. Particular emphasis is placed on the need for powerful storytelling adapted to the technology at hand.

Participants work on:

  • Strengthening scripts
  • Learning effective ways to use VFX and/or Stereo 3D in accordance with a consistent, provisional budget
  • Developing a production and post-production strategy
  • Creating test images, allowing for a more concrete understanding of new technologies in film projects (helpful when seeking funding).

The Cross Channel Film Lab was selected under the European cross-border cooperation programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF. The project has received both British support, from the Cornwall Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Breton support, from the Région Bretagne, Conseil Général du Finistère and Brest métropole océane.

Project Partners

  • CORNWALL COUNCIL : local authority in charge of administration in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Council’s Department of Culture works on the development of the creative industries with the aim of achieving economic, social and cultural development in Cornwall. Leader of the Cross Channel Film Lab.
  • CREATIVE ENGLAND : organisation dedicated to the growth of the creative industries in England. Investing in young, talented people through funding and professional exchange platforms, Creative England works to support the creative industries.
  • CORNWALL ARTS CENTRE TRUST (ACT) : pillar organisation for creative industries in Cornwall.
  • TELECOM BRETAGNE (3D FOVEA) : part of the Télécom Bretagne research centre, the scientific interest group 3D Fovéa has become a point of reference in France for the study of the effects of Stereo 3D on the ocular system and the health of viewers (in partnership with Brest University Hospital). 3D Fovéa is developing a case study on ocular systems for 3D images.
  • UNIVERSITÉ DE BRETAGNE OCCIDENTALE (IMAGE ET SON BREST) : cutting edge Image and Sound training programme in France. The research laboratory specialises in sound spatialisation and its impact on image perception.
  • BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY (THE MEDIA SCHOOL & NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPUTER ANIMATION) : England’s largest professional training centre for Media Studies. The research laboratories’ level of expertise is recognised internationally, particularly in the field of VFX.
  • FALMOUTH UNIVERSITY (FU) : following the opening of the AIR innovation centre, FU aims at becoming a world-wide reference for higher education in the field of imaging with new approaches to professional training. AIR is a place dedicated to new partnerships between the creatives industries and new technologies.
  • ARTEFACTO : the Rennes-based SME has been focusing its research programmes on a very interesting approach regarding the design and development of autostereoscopic systems. It therefore works on filming, post-production and the broadcasting of 3D images that can be viewed without glasses.
  • ÉCOLE DES BEAUX-ARTS DE RENNES : the department specialised in scenography and theatre design will be developing a previewing software system to help directors see how viewers will see the 3D filmed space before they actually begin shooting.
  • DINARD BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL : a hub for partnerships and co-productions between the UK and France in the film industry for 20 years.

Industry Partners

The Lab also benefits from the expertise of partners from the film industry:

  • AMAK
  • TSF
  • RVZ

As well as Eyes3Shut, Mocaplab, Bait Studios, BBC Films, Film4, ImageEyes, Nvizible, Peanut FX, Rushes, Tiger X, Vertigo Films

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