Pat Brundell VIP studio

New ‘future technology’ studio will boost TV and film production in Nottingham

Friday, 24 March 2023

A former television studio in Nottingham has been transformed into an immersive creative production hub that will boost film and TV production in the Midlands and help businesses to reach new audiences using future technologies.

The former ITV studios on Lenton Lane were once used to make well-known 90s sitcoms and gameshows such as Blockbusters, Catchphrase, Family Fortunes and Bullseye. However, the site is now owned by the University of Nottingham and it has been brought back to life with a new Virtual Immersive Production (VIP) studio. The facility will allow filmmakers, performing arts companies, and creative industry leaders and businesses to explore future technologies in areas such as virtual reality, animation, and 360-degree immersive sound technology. It will focus on collaborative research and experimentation, and the studio will also play a vital role in supporting an environmentally sustainable screen industry by limiting the need to film on location.

The VIP studio has been created as part of the Live, Experiential and Digital Diversification: Nottingham (LEADD:NG) programme, which was setup to help businesses maximise their potential through immersive technologies following the pandemic. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Helen Kennedy, Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Nottingham, oversees the LEADD:NG programme and is Director of the VIP Studio.

There is increasing application of virtual, immersive and game-based technologies in film, television and cutting-edge theatre production. We are witnessing an increase in collaborations and experimentation across these sectors – and these are the innovations that we are seeking to advance in our studio.
Helen Kennedy, Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries & Project Lead

The application of the available technologies extends far beyond the creative and cultural sector, with an increasing number of businesses adopting immersive and virtual practices to support design, communication and collaboration processes. The studio will, therefore, be used to help business leaders explore new commercial uses for the technology by discovering new ways to engage audiences.

As the studio develops, it will also support community outreach programmes and boost new skills in screen industries. Professor Helen Kennedy explains: “The VIP Studio will seek to engage and nurture a diverse community of practice in a way that will make these bleeding edge technologies accessible to those who are often left out of spaces of high-tech innovation.”

The VIP Studio is located in Studio 11 – the largest, original, acoustically treated sound studio in the Midlands. Its creation is part of a longer-term vision to revitalise the site as an accessible hub for creative production.

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Images by Pat Brundell

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About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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