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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Scott backs special effects school
Gladiator
The effects for Gladiator were made in the UK
A pioneering film school in Europe dedicated to the field of visual effects is to open in the UK with the full support of Oscar-winning film director Ridley Scott.

The London-based project, Escape Studios, is being opened next month to counter the lack of such facilities outside the United States.

Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott: Backs the school
The film school will train students in how best to use film and TV visual effects as well as computer games.

Scott, who used extensive special effects in films such as Gladiator, Alien and Blade Runner, said: "The British visual effects community has some of the most talented people in the industry.

"In order to continue this level of excellence, it is essential that facilities are developed to continually train the artists. The industry needs a school like Escape."


Escape Studios will fill a vital role in bringing more talent into the industry

Algy Williams, Babel Media

The school also has the backing of Disney and the BBC, who used such effects in the recent hit series Walking With Dinosaurs.

The managing director of Escape Dominic Davenport said: "The talent pool of effects artists has not kept pace with the huge growth of industry demand.

"Our courses are designed to attract the next generation of design and production talent working across all the creative industries."

BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs
BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs was effect-laden
Many of the world's biggest movies, such as Gladiator, Harry Potter and the James Bond series have all had their effects and post-production work done in the UK.

The studio has been welcomed by major figures in the media in Europe.

"The opening of Escape Studios is a most welcome and much-needed initiative that should help develop the UK talent pool," said John Hardie, managing director of Disney branded TV on Escape's website.

Algy Williams, chairman of Babel Media, one of Europe's leading service companies for the games industry, added: "The games industry is now bigger than Hollywood and the UK has some of the hottest games development talent in the world.

Blockbuster

"Escape Studios will fill a vital role in bringing more talent into the industry."

Other films that have relied heavily on special effects include The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which used a New Zealand-based team to create parts of J R R Tolkien's Middle Earth.

Director George Lucas's special effects company has won the contracts for the visual effects for the next Harry Potter movie and Ang Lee's The Hulk.

The blockbuster deals are estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars for Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic firm, according to trade paper Variety.

See also:

06 Jul 01 | Entertainment
13 Feb 01 | Oscars 2002
16 May 02 | Entertainment
15 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
16 Nov 01 | Science/Nature
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