Heslington Studios turns the spotlight on Yorkshire

Feb 10 2012

Heslington Studios Ltd will be flying the flag for Yorkshire at its official launch at the Broadcast Video Expo 2012 in London.  Wholly owned by the University of York, Heslington Studios offers outstanding facilities for commercial hire, bringing academia and industry together in a seamless manner.

The commercial arm of the University’s new £30 million Department of Theatre, Film and Television aims to promote Yorkshire as a major film and TV broadcast production region with facilities to rank with the best. The new Theatre, Film and Television building was designed following extensive consultation with industry professionals, academics and students and is purpose-built to support and foster interactions between the University, researchers and business. It boasts 2 HD broadcast TV studios, a 120-seat preview cinema, a multi-purpose sound stage, as well as superb audio and video post-production facilities.

Carole Dove, Commercial Director for Heslington Studios, said: “We’re offering something very new and different at York compared with other UK universities. The Theatre, Film and Television building was completed to the latest industry standard specification to provide opportunities for commercial partnerships with production companies. This in turn enriches the experience of our students and provides them with a competitive advantage in pursuing their careers.

“As well as offering fantastic facilities, Heslington Studios is just a two-hour journey from London, and can provide everything from technical support to front of house, and will help broker relationships with other industry professionals.

“We have an excellent technical team of industry professionals at York able to provide support and advice, as well as competent, enthusiastic students willing to take on work experience to boost their chances of success in the production industry. Our aim is to provide seamless facilities hire and to increase the profile of the region as a vibrant production centre.”

Several high profile clients have already benefited from York’s unique facilities include:

  • Al Jazeera carried out post production work for the 7- part series 'Slavery: A 21st Century Evil' at the University.  Three episodes were shot on  location in India, Pakistan and Haiti by David Hickman, a Senior Lecturer at York. 
  • Kudos Film and TV used audition and rehearsal space, plus several locations on campus for shooting the ITV drama series Eternal Law, which aired in January 2012. Around 30 Theatre, Film and Television students acted as extras, while one student worked as a camera trainee
  • Green Screen Productions Ltd are using RED camera shooting kits for their new feature film, 'The Knife that Killed Me', which is being distributed by Universal Pictures in the UK. They are employing several Department of Theatre, Film and Television graduates to work on the film under a Knowledge Transfer Partnership agreement.

Carole Dove said: “There are enormous benefits to be gained by students from being in a professional environment, particularly through work experience and future contacts. Heslington Studios is building on the strong links the Department has already established with the media industry and creative practitioners both locally and nationally, who regularly visit the department to provide masterclasses and workshops.”

Alan Latham, Producer and Managing Director of Green Screen Productions Ltd, said: “Having just launched our new Northern film studios near York, we are very excited about working with Heslington Studios to boost the profile of the region and to support our own feature film production. The Theatre, Film and Television building offers us exceptional post production facilities and access to top level graduates particularly in the field of Computer Generated Imagery.”

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television is one of four major academic buildings in the first phase of the University’s £750 million campus extension at Heslington East, one of the biggest capital developments in UK higher education in recent years. Its development  was supported by investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in Yorkshire and the Humber, part of a major infrastructure project led by Science City York to extend the assets and strategic potential of York as a leading centre for science and innovation.

Heslington Studios will have a stand at the Earl’s Court BVE Expo 2012 from 14 to 16 February. 


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European exposure for innovative Yorkshire feature film

A feature film produced as a result of a unique academic-industry partnership is flying the flag for UK independent film-makers with screenings at international film festivals in Europe.

The Knife That Killed Me, which was made entirely using green screen technology, will screen at the Nantes British Film Festival (11-19 December). This follows its highly successful European debut at the Alice Nella Citta, a youth-orientated side bar competition held during the Rome Film Festival this month, where the film received a standing ovation.


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Boot camp aims to improve skills

The University of York is hosting a hands-on visual effects course aimed at tutors delivering VFX teaching at UK institutions.

Based in the University’s superb £30m Department of Theatre, Film and Television, course participants will have access to world-class facilities and industry-standard equipment.

The VFX Tutor Boot Camp – Shooting for Visual Effects course on 24 and 25 March, is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI and the Skills Investment Fund (SIF).

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University of York Graduate showcased in BBC Music Video Festival

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Film director and TFTV graduate Nik Morris' video for Falling in Love, from singer/songwriter Jack Edwards, has been showcased in the 2013 BBC Music Video Festival alongside international artists including Sigur Ros and Roisin Murphy. The BBC Music Video Festival is an online celebration of new and emerging music acts, as well as the film making talents of directors working in the field.

Nik's gritty VFX-filled video collides sci-fi elements from Prometheus and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind to deliver a four-minute break up story for those who really want to forget. Described by the festival as 'beautifully filmed' with a 'cool idea', 'Falling in Love' is Nik's third music video as director, with previous promos made for Roundhouse Records' Tres B and independent musician James Harker. He's currently in pre-production on a new video for Jack Edwards next single, to be released by The Animal Farm label in 2014.

Since graduating from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television in January 2012, Nik has directed and produced animated and live-action online commercials for companies including TouchRight Software, Heslington Studios and the CARMEN Neuroscience platform, also educational films including the animated teenage health story 'Is the World Listening?' Nik's video is featured on the BBC Music Video Festival website from 1st November to 31st December 2013. You can watch 'Falling in Love' and read interviews with Nik and Jack here: 

http://bbcmusicvideofestival.tumblr.com/post/65246539102/jack-edwards-falling-in-love-director-nik Nik's website is www.nikmorris.com

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Award winning feature film - Entity

Jul 4 2013

News Release

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Media Images and Information: Caron Lett 01904 322029

University of York supports region’s vibrant creative industry

An independent North Yorkshire film production company, currently celebrating the UK DVD release of its award-winning filmEntity, is one of a growing number of creative companies in the region benefitting from the skills and facilities on offer at the University of York.

Nexus DNA Films has enjoyed huge success with its paranormal thriller Entity, with distribution deals on both sides of the Atlantic and theatrical screenings at REEL cinemas across the UK.

The production company, which made the film entirely in the Selby area, is one of a growing number of local creative companies to use the superb post-production facilities at Heslington Studios, the commercial arm of the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television.

Entity follows a British film crew venturing into a remote Siberian forest, attempting to solve mysteries both past and present. The paranormal thriller won Best Horror Film at the London Independent Film Festival, and stars Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel, Goodnight Sweetheart) and Charlotte Riley (Easy Virtue, Wuthering Heights), who has just finished filming as co-star with Emily Blunt in a new Tom Cruise movie, All You Need is Kill. They are supported by Branko Tomovic, Rupert Hill, Oliver Jackson and Michael David Worden.

Nexus DNA Films also received support on the early development of the original script from the University, while the academic-business partnership enabled the film company to tap into support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The film production company is part of an increasingly vibrant creative industry developing in the North Yorkshire region, with around 320 small creative businesses now based in the area. Many of these are benefitting from the close proximity of Heslington Studios, which boasts two HD broadcast TV studios, a 140-seat preview cinema, a multi-purpose sound stage, as well as professional sound and picture post-production facilities.

Steve Stone, the Director of Entity, said: “The assistance we received from Heslington Studios in the post-production was invaluable both in terms of facilities and the technical back-up that we received there. As with any small indie like ours the budget for post-production was almost impossible to work with. But the help we gained under the ERDF scheme made it possible to finish our film and take it into distribution on both sides of the Atlantic with Metrodome in the UK and Arclight Films/ Fangoria Films in the US.”

Carole Dove, Commercial Director for Heslington Studios, said: “Our remit is to work in partnership with industry to enable out-of-London production companies such as Nexus DNA Films to deliver on a much more cost-effective basis. Creative businesses around the York region benefit from being situated near us and we benefit from having partnerships with them. Our income is gift-aided back to the University and ploughed back into developing new facilities for the future.”

In addition to Nexus DNA Films, Al Jazeera, The Other Planet Media, Digital Fiction Factory, Green Screen Productions and the BBC have all made use of the facilities on offer at the University of York.

Entityis now available on DVD from major outlets including Amazon UK, Sainsburys, Tesco and LOVEFiLM.


Notes to Editors:

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Heslington Studios sponsor "Most Promising Newcomer" for Royal Television Society Yorkshire awards

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Heslington Studios was proud to sponsor the “Most Promising Newcomer” award at the Yorkshire Royal Television Society ceremony on Monday June 11th.  The well-attended event at the Queens Hotel in Leeds celebrated the best television productions and people in the region, including 40 years of ITV's Emmerdale and 30 years of Channel 4’s Countdown. The photo shows Commercial Director, Carole Dove, presenting the award to Dan Johnson from the BBC's regional news programme Look North. Watching is the event host, actor Steve Huison who plays Eddie Windass in the popular TV soap Coronation Street. 

Mike Best, Chairman of the RTS Yorkshire Centre said: 

" Every year the standard of entries for the awards keeps rising and despite the huge changes our industry continues to face, it's clear that, from the point of view of creative talent and technical excellence, the future is bright.  Like everyone else in the country, the Yorkshire Centre of the RTS is finding that times are tight and I am particularly grateful for the sponsors who support this event." 

  • Further information on the Royal Television Society can be found at http://www.rts.org.uk/ 




    FuYorkshire RT 

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