ScreenSkills’ immersive experience First Day: on Set wins award

Producer and ScreenSkills Head of Film and Animation Gareth Ellis-Unwin receives the PGGB Award

ScreenSkills’ immersive experience First Day: on Set has won the Production Guild of Great Britain Innovation Award for a Production Team.

The award, sponsored by Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, celebrates the work of a production team which has navigated new ways of working to keep UK film and television production moving forward.

First Day: On Set is a VR film that takes viewers behind the scenes on a shoot to showcase the variety of roles available in screen. It was produced by ScreenSkills' Head of Film and Animation Gareth Ellis-Unwin, line producer Georgette Turner and production coordinator Marco Calabrese. Development of the experience was supported by the BFI awarding National Lottery funds as part its Future Film Skills strategy.

The project was inspired by Pathfinder, a headset-based VR experience already used for scouting locations for productions. ScreenSkills and VR experts The Third Floor took the technology and adapted it, with extra support for the project from EON Productions, Pinewood Studios, movieTech and MBS who between them volunteered a stage and equipment for the shoot which took place at Pinewood before lockdown.  

The film is designed to be experienced on Oculus Rift/Go VR headsets with a 360-degree version launched this summer. This can be watched via the ScreenSkills website

Jury chair, producer and PGGB chair Alex Boden said: “First Day: On Set uses technology in a compelling way to unravel the mystery of production. It’s a truly engaging and accessible film that explains what each department does. Available free to anyone, anywhere in the UK, who is interested in entering the industry, it will help ensure that much-needed new entrants from all backgrounds continue to choose to work in film and high-end TV.”

Gareth said: “This was a real passion project. We wanted to open up the hustle and bustle of a ‘real’ set to as many people as possible. Covid has made it more challenging to take visitors onto set, so this film has been an excellent tool. This award is for the many people who helped make this film a reality, the industry figures and companies who lent their time and resources, and our fantastic hardworking careers team at ScreenSkills. I’m pleased to reveal that we’re already in development for the second edition in our VR series, which will open up the world of post-production.”

ScreenSkills also has a new immersive film about life in a post-production house, learn more by visiting First Day: In post.

You can watch First Day: On Set below.

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