IMDA announces a $5 million fund to support Singapore’s media industry to adopt
virtual production

Last updated: 13 January 2023

Published on: 07 December 2022

MIN READ TIME

  • IMDA’s support will build capability in the industry and transform the storytelling process
  • Partnership with UK’s National Film and TV School to train talent skilled in virtual production

SINGAPORE, 07 DECEMBER 2022 — To ensure that the local media industry remains competitive as the international partner of choice to create premium IP, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced the launch of a $5 million Virtual Production Innovation Fund to support the local media industry to develop capabilities needed to harness virtual production technology. This was announced by Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Mr Tan Kiat How, at the opening of the Asia TV Forum & Market|Screen Singapore (ATF|SS) today.

Preparing for the future by encouraging the use of virtual production

Virtual production technology uses LED screens to display realistic background environments for television or movie scenes powered by video game engine so that the camera is able to capture actors and visual effects in real-time. Production will no longer need to be dependent on location, road closures, location fees and permits as well as the weather, set construction and space rental.

This technology presents a unique opportunity for Singapore to overcome our physical limitations such as limited sites for on-location shooting and space to build extensive sets. Virtual production will transform the creative process of storytelling as our storytellers can recreate locations from the past or any imaginable environment, allowing us to produce content that we were not able to before. There is also strong signal from global media players that virtual production technology will be widely used in film and television production and will become the industry norm in the coming years, which adds impetus for our media industry to adopt virtual production.

To prepare our media industry for the future, IMDA will undertake a two-prong approach to build capabilities in virtual production so that our media companies and talent can keep up with global production practices to remain competitive.

First prong: developing talent skilled in virtual production

To train media professionals to use this technology, IMDA has partnered the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the United Kingdom to tailor the school’s Certificate in Virtual Production course to meet our industry’s needs. Fifteen Singapore media lecturers, trainers and industry professionals will receive hands-on training at NFTS’s virtual production facilities as well as attend lectures conducted virtually from December 2022 to April 2023.

A series of industry-led masterclasses and workshops, conducted by international virtual production experts, will be rolled out over the next twelve months. For a start, Aux Media, a company specialising in creating immersive experiences in Singapore, held a showcase at the ATF Market to demonstrate how virtual production can add value to creative storytelling. Guest speakers from virtual production front-runners XON Studios, ROE Creative Display, and Disguise, will conduct hands-on demonstrations and cover topics ranging from best practices in virtual production workflow to creative applications of various technologies in storytelling.

Second prong: investing in production and capability development for Singapore enterprises and talent

We will also support local companies to experiment with virtual production to realise their creative vision for short-form1 content, such as music videos, short films, brand commercials, amongst others. From now until 15 February 2023, companies can submit their proposed content concepts at go.gov.sg/vpinnovationcall. Proposals will be evaluated based on their creative appeal and ability to best use virtual production technology to bring their project’s creative vision to fruition. IMDA will fund up to 50 per cent of the project’s cost for selected proposals. By supporting these projects, the local industry will deepen their understanding on how virtual production can help them lift their creativity to the next level and produce even more interesting content. 

In addition, IMDA is collaborating with Epic Games, creator of the advanced real-time 3D creation tool, Unreal Engine, which  powers games like Fortnite, to run an industry challenge. Commencing in the first quarter of 2023, the challenge will encourage companies to experiment with and use Unreal Engine for virtual production. Teams with shortlisted projects will receive direct mentorship and training from Epic, while also receiving prize money from IMDA to support content production.  

Mr Justin Ang, Assistant Chief Executive, Media, Innovation, Communications & Marketing, IMDA, said, “The development of virtual production technology in recent years now allows us to create visual effects in real-time without physical set production and with that, overcome the limitations of space, scale and complexity. The impossible can be made ‘possible’, limited only by the imagination of our filmmakers. We are excited to see more innovative and compelling stories resulting from the use of virtual production to strengthen Singapore’s position as a hub for content and IP creation.”

"Despite its size, there is an abundance of incredible creative talent in Singapore, and tools such as Unreal Engine are essential in helping filmmakers and production studios today reimagine storytelling and create stunning imagery in real time,” said Mr Dean Reinhard, Evangelist and Senior Technical Account Manager, Epic Games. “We are thrilled to work with IMDA to help train and support these local talents on maximising the use of these incredibly powerful tools and resources available to them.”

Footnotes:

[1] Video format projects of approximately 3 to 10 minutes.


ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (IMDA)


About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation by developing a vibrant digital economy and an inclusive digital society. As Architects of Singapore’s Digital Future, we foster growth in Infocomm Technology and Media sectors in concert with progressive regulations, harnessing frontier technologies, and developing local talent and digital infrastructure ecosystems to establish Singapore as a digital metropolis.

For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook (IMDAsg) and Twitter (@IMDAsg).


For media clarifications, please contact:

Bridget Chang (Ms)
Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 8118 2764
Email: bridget_chang@imda.gov.sg

Ethan Wong (Mr)
Edelman
DID: (65) 9118 3960
Email: ethan.wong@edelman.com

Eight MOUs signed at the Third Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative Joint Implementation Committee Meeting Read the next article