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Escape Studios, ScreenSkills, and Epic Games Team Up on ‘Pick and Mix’

The two-week program will help film and television professionals move into real-time visualization and virtual production; free for freelancers and furloughed workers, the program runs March 15-26.

Escape Studios, ScreenSkills, and Epic Games have teamed up to create Unreal Pick and Mix, an online suite of free workshops for freelancers and furloughed film and high-end television professionals. The courses will be offered March 15-26.

The two-week program is designed to give those working in the Film and TV industries a 'zero-to-hero' platform to make the move into real-time visualization and virtual production, prioritizing furloughed and freelance professionals. While the complete program is appropriated for beginners, up-skilling is recommended for industry professionals already involved in Unreal Engine – choose day long programs in a choice of topics/skills best suited to further your knowledge.

The program of specialist Unreal training will be hosted online by Escape Studios and is being supported by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen industries, via their Film and High-end TV Skills Funds with contributions from UK productions.

Unreal Engine technology is being adopted by major VFX, animation and film production companies as well as those industries that need to visualize assets in real time. Following on the success of their Unreal Fellowship that reskilled over 100 VFX artists furloughed from some of the biggest companies in the UK, Escape Studios is now looking to assist smaller companies, sole traders, and freelancers.

“As a result of the ongoing pandemic, hundreds of talented production professionals are unable to work, so our objective is to prepare the industry for eventual growth when restrictions are lifted and promote new ways of working safely,” commented Escape Studios deputy dean Saint Walker. “We want to ensure that skills in Unreal Engine and real-time production are spread across the UK, to help fuel the UK’s media industries and the individuals who work in it. We’re extremely grateful to ScreenSkills for supporting this program, which will benefit industry professionals around the UK, particularly in regions where there are less opportunities for this kind of training.”

“In these extraordinary times it’s more clear than ever that we innovate and prepare industry to work with emerging and new tech,” remarked ScreenSkills CPD lead, Emma Turner. “We believe that our investment in the Unreal Pick and Mix will help future-proof the industry, embrace virtual production and enable professionals whatever their background to get in and get on.”

“Inclusion sits at the heart of our work,” added ScreenSkills senior HETV training liaison manager Jacqui Taunton Fenton. “This includes making sure that people can access opportunities to help them upskill and stay up to date regardless of where they are based. We hope that the online nature of the bootcamp will help enable the growth of skills in Unreal Engine and real-time production in all nations and regions of the UK.”

As the UK’s only Unreal Authorized Training Centre, Escape Studios has worked with Epic Games on designing the flexible online curriculum, allowing a range of options for both beginner and intermediate participants. The program will give learners the fundamentals to hit the ground running. Expert guest practitioners will deliver a range of expert sessions focusing on real-time fundamentals and scene building, environments, lighting, FX, integration, detail, and drama.

Further details and registration information is available online here.

Source: Pearson College London